After Khris Middleton did his best MJ/Kobe impression in the fourth quarter on Sunday, the Milwaukee Bucks are riding high on a come-from-behind victory and are up 2 games to 1 on the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference Finals. The biggest story for this penultimate (ultimate?) game in Georgia, though, centers around Hawks star Trae Young’s health.
Where We’re At
The Bucks trailed for nearly all of Game 3 despite digging themselves out of an early first-quarter hole. It took an all-time effort from Middleton (38 points on 15/26 shooting, including 20 in the fourth quarter), another big night from Giannis, plus key bench contributions from Pat Connaughton and Bobby Portis to get there against a hot-shooting Atlanta offense. Before the game, Mike Budenholzer revealed that Giannis is dealing with calf soreness, but this didn’t stop The Greek Freak from feasting on the Hawks’ interior defense. He’s listed as probable on the injury report as of the last night.
For Atlanta, their season depends on Young’s right leg. After coming down on a ref’s shoe as the third quarter drew to a close, the Hawks guard exited to the locker room before returning midway through the fourth quarter, lacking his usual penetration ability. That shut down another banner night for him: he had just 3 of his team-high 35 points after being subbed out with the injury. An MRI yesterday revealed that Young has a bone bruise in right his foot and not a high ankle sprain as originally reported. Young is listed as questionable and says he will play. Though his injury seems somewhat minor, anything less than Young at 100% makes the Hawks’ already tough sledding even tougher. Aside from him, Bogdan Bogdanovic is probable with his sore right knee, while De’Andre Hunter and Brandon Goodwin remain out.
Player To Watch
After starting the series with two excellent efforts, Jrue Holiday’s production cratered to just 6 points on 2/11 from the field on Sunday, though he racked up 12 assists finding open teammates. He’s had his hands full on the other end as the primary assignment on Young so perhaps an off-night is to be expected in the shooting department, but if Young is hobbled, Holiday could bounce back.
Game Four: Against Atlanta, the Bucks will...
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