There’s no NBA Conference game on the schedule for today, with the Western Conference already having been decided. The Phoenix Suns and the LA Clippers could have played Game 7 tonight, but the Suns decided they wanted to wrap things up and took care of the Clippers in six. All that remains now is to determine who will win the Eastern Conference, the Milwaukee Bucks or the Atlanta Hawks, and if the Bucks play one more game like they did last night, it will all be over.
Bucks Take Care of the Hawks
The Bucks haven’t seen an NBA Finals anywhere other than on the TV since 1974, and they’re now just one game away from being in the last competition of the season. They stepped onto the court last night ready to win, never giving the Hawks much room to work. It was an endless attack that kept Atlanta on the defensive the entire game, unable to figure out how to strike.
The Hawks had to play without Trae Young, which didn’t help, but the team has already shown it can muster an offensive push without him. Not last night, though. Even without Giannis Antetokounmpo on the court, the Bucks proved to be too tough, seemingly taking the 123-112 win with ease. In Game 4, the Hawks completely overwhelmed the Bucks, keeping them to just 88 points, but they couldn’t find the same force last night.
All or Nothing for the Hawks
Game 6 will be held tomorrow, with the Hawks getting the home court advantage, for what it’s worth. At this point, Atlanta will take whatever help it can get, and even a small boost from playing at home could make the difference. Oddsmakers, until the latest updates are provided, think the Hawks have a chance tomorrow night, with many of them supporting Atlanta for the win.
The edge isn’t that much, though, and the Hawks are going to have to double down if they want to keep this series alive through seven games. BetMGM currently has the Hawks with a two-point advantage tomorrow, while FanDuel gives them a leaner one-point edge. ESPN’s matchup predictor, however, isn’t as optimistic about Atlanta’s odds, seeing the Bucks as having a 62.6% chance of taking the Game 6 win, despite listing them as 2-point underdogs, which would hand them the series and their long-awaited NBA Finals trip. If Young is back in for the Hawks, which he could be, Atlanta might be able to pull off the win.
Bucks or Hawks Against the Suns Will be Tough
Regardless of which team wins the Eastern, going up against the Suns won’t be an easy task. Phoenix is banking on Chris Paul to lead them all the way through the championship, and he’s got the credentials to do it. Paul is indisputably one of the greatest point guards to have ever lived. He’s an 11-time All-Star who has achieved almost everything a professional NBA player could want. In 16 seasons, he has made nine All-NBA Teams and nine All-Defensive Teams while playing for five different teams, the Hornets, Clippers, Rockets, Thunder, and Suns.
Paul has also led the NBA in steals six times and assists four times. Since his rookie season, when he took the Rookie of the Year Award with an average of 16.1 PPG and 7.8 APG, he has been one of the best floor managers in the game. The only things missing from his list is an MVP and an NBA championship. However, that could be about to change. The Suns have gotten this far because of Paul and the team has a legitimate shot of winning it all.