Milwaukee Bucks: 3 keys to victory in dire Game 5 versus Atlanta Hawks

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - JUNE 29 (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GEORGIA - JUNE 29 (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Bobby Portis
ATLANTA, GEORGIA – JUNE 29 (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

With Antetokounmpo almost certainly out of the lineup, the Bucks will have a massive gap to fill with their scoring production.

This will be particularly evident in the paint, where the Greek Freak had been dominating the Hawks to this point in the series. According to, Antetokounmpo was averaging 21.5 points across these past four games in that area alone, consistently imposing his will on this Atlanta defense.

Considering how poorly they are shooting from behind the arc in this series (30.6 percent), this scoring assault inside was one of the biggest weapons for the Bucks. Unfortunately, operating in the likelihood that Antetokounmpo will be sidelined for the foreseeable future, the team will have to look elsewhere on the roster for someone to try and replicate that success.

The first player that will draw attention to fill this void will be Brook Lopez. Milwaukee’s man in the middle has transformed his game to revolve more around being an outside shooter, but his ability to maneuver his way inside and dominate close to the basket is well-known. Sure enough, he has been stellar in that regard in these four games as he is shooting 7-of-9 in the restricted area and 3-of-4 from in the paint non-restricted area.

Yet, the Bucks have increasingly utilized him as more of a floor spacer as he is just 1-of-9 on above-the-break shots from behind the arc. Interestingly enough, he is 4-for-4 from the corners on 3-pointers, but getting better looks inside from the big man will be crucial. With Giannis taken out of the equation, the lane will be more open for Lopez to operate offensively. He must look to bully his way inside to score when the opportunity arises.

Another name that could help keep those paint numbers intact is Bobby Portis, who is still looking for his shot in this series. However, with a much larger opportunity set to come his way – do not be surprised if Portis gets the start tonight in place of Antetokounmpo – the big man will see more touches offensively, and he must put that scoring prowess to good use. With a nice scoring touch inside, this team will certainly look to get him going.