The Atlanta Hawks went up against the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2021 Eastern Conference Finals. The Bucks won game 6 to win the series 4-2. Giannis and co now move forward to face the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Finals. The Hawks on the other hand will regroup and prepare for the 2022 season.
They will have to look into every department they lacked in, in order to come back stronger next season. Though the Hawks dominated in game 1 and even pulled off a massive victory in game 4, they could not cross the finish line. Here is why the Atlanta Hawks could not beat the Milwaukee Bucks
The Trae Young Injury
In Game 3 of the ECF, with 29.3 seconds left in the third quarter, the Hawks star, Trae Young went down. The incident occurred when Young stepped on the referee’s foot after a pass and he fell awkwardly. Trae was seen walking back to the locker room and was ruled out for the rest of the game.
The Milwaukee Bucks took full advantage of the situation and managed to take a 2-1 lead in the series. The injury ruled Trae out from games 4 and 5 as well. The Hawks managed to pull off a massive victory in Game 4 but without Young back on the court, the team could not defeat the Bucks in game 5. Young did however come back in the do or die game 6. Trae however had not fully recovered and managed to put up only 14 points. The injury is one of the reasons the Hawks did not make it past the Bucks.
The Atlanta Hawks Fail To Guard The Rim
The Hawks may not have the best Big Men in the league, but guarding the rim and the paint is an essential part of the process to win a game. The efforts by the Hawks to do the same was a total disappointment. In games 1 and 2, the Bucks managed to put up a total of 132 points in the paint. Clint Capela could not stop the likes of Giannis and Jrue Holiday.
The Atlanta Hawks Have A Terrible Fourth Quarter Run
The Hawks failed to maintain consistency in their performances as the Games played out. The fourth quarter curse was evident. The Hawks were even outscored by a single Bucks player in the fourth quarter of Game 3. The incident occurred on the Hawks home court. Khris Middleton put up 20 points in the fourth quarter while the entire Hawks team put up only 17.
Points in the 4th quarter:
20 — Khris Middleton
17 — Atlanta Hawks pic.twitter.com/uS07R2vfeF
— StatMuse (@statmuse) June 28, 2021
Weak Three-Point Shooting Percentage
The Bucks have some of the best paint protectors in the league. It was essential for the Hawks to make sure that their shots from the three-point line were converted. However, the three-point shooting was rather poor for the Hawks even in the games that they won. In games 1 and 2 the Hawks had a 25% 3 point shooting percentage. In game 3 they managed to bring it up to 40.5% but their poor performance on the other end let them down.
The Milwaukee Bucks were down their main star, Giannis Antetokounmpo but the team was still carried well on the backs of Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton. However, the story is not the same for the Hawks. The loss of Trae Young, the poor defence, the bad shooting percentage from the three-point line were the main reasons the Hawks could not make it to the NBA Finals this season.