Milwaukee Bucks: 3 takeaways from 123-112 Game 5 win over Atlanta Hawks

Jul 1, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA (Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports)
Jul 1, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA (Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports) /
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MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – JULY 01: (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – JULY 01: (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

The Milwaukee Bucks are officially on win away from their first trip to the NBA Finals in 47 years.

The Bucks stepped up to take a 3-2 series over the Atlanta Hawks in their Eastern Conference Finals series following their 123-112 Game 5 win Thursday night at Fiserv Forum.

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Of course, the win came without superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo after he was ruled out for Game 5 earlier in the day after suffering a left knee hyperextension that didn’t come with any structural damage, fortunately. And as we’ll get into, the Bucks were able to withstand the absence of their two-time MVP for at least one night.

So without further ado, let’s break down what stood out the most from the Milwaukee Bucks’ Game 5 win over the Atlanta Hawks from Thursday night.

Bobby Portis lifts the Milwaukee Bucks in his first playoff start in Game 5 win

To say Bobby Portis had big shoes to fill going into Thursday night would be an understatement. And considering the circumstances, Portis delivered, much to the appreciation of the raucous crowd inside Fiserv Forum.

Portis finished with 22 points on 9-of-20 shooting (1-for-3 from deep, 3-for-6 from the free throw line), eight rebounds, three assists as well as three steals and was a +14 in over 35-and-a-half minutes of action.

Working in tandem with Brook Lopez to man the boards and extend possessions, Portis put in an incredibly gritty performances where he literally flexed his muscles all throughout the night.

Whether it was the way Portis got his hands into passing lanes that helped him leak out in transition to put down easy buckets, hit shots out of the post or knocked down a much-needed corner triple, the big man chipped in where he could. All while not just holding up defensively, but pressuring the Hawks’ ball handlers to jumpstart the Bucks on the break.

There’s no question that this performance not only will cement his contributions in Milwaukee, but have a lasting impression on his immediate future, especially as free agency is around the corner. No matter what happens moving forward, Portis has done his part to make the Bucks’ goal of reaching the Finals that much more possible with such a performance.