The series was a roller coaster and above all uncompetitive. The Hawks struck first with a surprising Game 1 road win, 116-113. Young scored 48 points. The Bucks, as they did against Kevin Durant and the Nets in the second round, struggled to defend Atlanta in pick-and-roll. This made it easy for Young to get into the paint and create an offense for the Hawks.
In Game 2, Milwaukee, Atlanta, 125-91, led by Antetokounmpo 25 points in 29 minutes. In the next game, the Bucks appeared to take control of the series with a 113-102 win, this time with Middleton’s 38 points and 11 rebounds in the lead.
It was in the second half of Game 4 that Antetokounmpo injured his knee, and the Hawks, taking advantage of the bewildered Bucks, pulled off their own blowout even at the best of seven series at two games apiece. The victory came without Young, raising hopes in Atlanta that his pushy campaign could take the Hawks to the franchise’s first finals since 1961.
Two-time Most Valuable Player Award winner and one of the NBA’s biggest stars, Antetokounmpo was in the midst of the best playoff streak of his career after a disappointing streak of playoffs. He’s averaging 28.2 points, 12.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game in the playoffs. If he struggled to shoot from the field and on the free throw line, he mostly kept his game where he is most successful: at the rim for the dunks, as he did during the season. regular. In the playoffs, 63.3% of Antetokounmpo’s shots were within 10 feet of the hoop. During the regular season, that number was 62.4 percent.
The Bucks regrouped in Game 5 without him, towering over the Hawks from start to finish to move up 3-2 in the series. Brook Lopez scored a career-high 33 points in the playoffs in the 123-112 victory.