The NBA Conference Finals have turned out to be everything basketball fans and gamblers could hope for. None of the series has been overly lopsided, and the final four teams continue to fight to the bitter end. After the Atlanta Hawks bounced back last night against the Milwaukee Bucks, it suddenly became evident that this is going to be an awesome contest to watch. The Phoenix Suns and the LA Clippers are doing their part to keep things alive, as well, and the Clippers are looking for a big win tonight.
The Hawks Prove Themselves Again
The Hawks walked away with a 110-88 victory last night in a game that was full of surprises. They have now tied the series at 2-2, with Atlanta proving themselves every time they step toward the basket. Trae Young still isn’t in the game, which was seen as a possible unsurmountable roadblock to a win, but Lou Williams and the rest of the crew stepped up to grab the win. It was sweet revenge for a team looking to advance to the NBA Finals for their first time in about 50 years.
Williams put up 21 points on the night, with Bogdan Bogdanovic, questionable before the game, adding 20. The Bucks had control early on, but the Hawks turned up the heat and dominated the second half. It didn’t hurt that Giannis Antetokounmpo went down, but losing him shouldn’t be enough to force the Bucks into a losing situation. The two teams will meet again tomorrow night, and it still isn’t clear if Young or Antetokounmpo will be back on the court. At this point, the series can still swing either way, but the Hawks are proving to be stronger than anyone – except Atlanta’s fans – could have imagined.
Suns and Clippers on a Collision Course
The Clippers aren’t ready to throw in the towel yet, either. They took Game 5 to make this a 3-2 series, and will look to tie things up tonight. The Clippers have already shown several times that they can beat the odds, and a win tonight would give them serious motivation and energy to keep the series alive. It’s possible, at this point, that a Game 7 is in the cards for these two teams. However, first things first and the Clippers need to stay focused in order to avoid elimination tonight.
The Clippers are going to be without the help of Kawhi Leonard again, but that hasn’t proven to be an insurmountable obstacle so far. Ivica Zubac is questionable with a knee injury; however, the depth of the Clippers’ bench still offers a lot of talent and experience. All of it will be needed tonight.
Oddsmakers Are Talking
The Suns are no longer the clear favorite in the series and aren’t even getting most of the support tonight. However, oddsmakers have struggled to figure out who they like better, and have put the moneyline dead even at -108 for both teams. This is shaping up to be an incredible contest that could have a nail-biting finish. The only hint at who is favored comes through the spread, which leans to the Suns by just one point. Given the Clippers repeated ability to overcome struggles, taking them on the line and to cover the spread seems to be an easy choice.
The Over/Under of 214.5 (-105) is a good place to park a unit or two. Across four games, the Under has hit three times and, with both teams dealing with frazzled nerves, it is likely to come once again. Taking the Under should produce a nice win for gamblers tonight.