If Tuesday's Milwaukee Bucks-Atlanta Hawks matchup were in the regular season instead of the Eastern Conference Finals, it's a lock that Hawks star guard Trae Young would not be taking the court due to a bone bruise in his right foot. However, getting to the conference finals doesn't happen every day – ask someone like Charles Barkley – so it's fully expected that Young will play in Game 4 despite a questionable tag. The Bucks, though, are 6.5-point favorites on the William Hill Sportsbook odds and Khris Middleton is set at Over/Under 23.5 points after a huge Game 3.
This writer backed the Hawks plus the points in Game 3 and they led by as many as 15 points early. It still looked good for at worst an Atlanta cover until Young in a total fluke stepped on the right foot of referee Sean Wright, who was standing out of bounds, and fell to the ground very late in the third quarter. Young went to the locker room and wouldn't return until 8:44 remained in the game and Atlanta up 93-88.
Alas, Young clearly wasn't close to 100 percent; he had 32 of his 35 points before the injury and the Bucks won 113-102 thanks in large part to Middleton, who had 20 fourth-quarter points. While the Hawks originally called Young's injury a sprained ankle, an MRI on Monday revealed it was a bone bruise in that right foot instead. In a way, that's a better diagnosis than a sprained ankle. Young's Over/Under point total for Game 4 is set at 28.5 points.
Atlanta already is down forward De'Andre Hunter, who was lost for the postseason following the first round against the Knicks. Guard Bogdan Bogdanovic is playing through a knee injury and frankly not playing very well due to it. He was only 3-for-16 in Game 3. Cam Reddish, off an Achilles injury, has played just one game in this series/postseason. Expect to see more of him Tuesday.
Middleton finished with 38 points in Game 3, tying a career playoff high. If he keeps playing like that, the Bucks are winning the title. He had been a combined 12-for-36 in the first two games for a total of 30 points. When Middleton scores at least 20 in these playoffs, the Bucks are 7-1.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is set at Over/Under 32.5 points for Game 4 and is -400 to have another double-double. He has had a DD in every game these playoffs but one. Giannis has topped 32.5 in two of three games this series. The lone one he didn't was Game 2 blowout when the Freak only had to play 29 minutes.
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