The Atlanta Hawks lost a game and almost lost their best player on Sunday night, and now they have to regroup in a big way if they are to cling on to any kind of hope of advancing to the NBA Finals.
BetOnline customers have to be carefully evaluating what to do about the status of Trae Young as they move into Game 4 against the Milwaukee Bucks, which is slated to get underway at 8:35 PM ET on Tuesday at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta.
Young becomes a question mark of sorts after suffering a bruised foot in the third quarter of Game 3. The fact is, he stepped on the foot of an official as he was getting back on defense. He left for the locker room briefly, then returned in the fourth quarter, but not effectively.
In the final period, he made one of his four shots, and three of those attempts were from three-point range. he had no assists and no rebounds.He was a little shaky and did not attack the way he had in the first three quarters, as Atlanta led the game behind his 32 points.
While that was happening, Khris Middleton scored 20 fourth-quarter points on his way to 38 for the game. That was a real dagger in Atlanta’s side.
Young was visibly down after the game, and couldn’t say much about his situation other than that he was going to get some treatment on the injury.
In the NBA playoff odds that have been posted on this game by the folks at BetOnline, the Bucks are laying some points on the road:
Milwaukee Bucks -7 (-108)
Atlanta Hawks +7 (-112)
Over 219 points -105
Under 219 points -115
Middleton’s offensive explosions seem to come and go, but his eruption in Game 3 illustrates a critical difference that has emerged between these two teams – the balance in scoring.
While both of these squads have a very formidable primary scorer – Young for the Hawks and Giannis Antetokounmpo for the Bucks. But while Atlanta has been hard-pressed to find someone else who can really scare a defense, Milwaukee has gotten major contributions from Middleton and Jrue Holiday (33 points in Game 2).
And when you consider that Young’s Usage figure in this series is 41.1% (which would have led the league this season), you have to concede that he is going to get heavy minutes, almost regardless of what kind of shape he’s in.
He is listed as questionable for this game.
No one can doubt that the Hawks are a resourceful team. But some of these problems may suddenly be too difficult to overcome. Young is a liability as it is on defense, but he’s going to be extended at that end of the floor by Holiday, who, as we have mentioned before, is a first-team All-Defensive selection.
Atlanta may have to slow this game down to reduce the total number of possessions. Remember that Milwaukee led the league in “Pace,” so Nate McMillan may have to choose to try and force the game the Bucks DON’T want to play. So we’ll go UNDER with this total.
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