Even if superstar guard Trae Young hadn’t sat out for a second straight game, the Atlanta Hawks wouldn’t have been able to stop the Bucks’ relentless assault on the rim Thursday night in Milwaukee’s 123-112 win in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals.
The win moved the Bucks, who also were without their own superstar in forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, to within one victory of their first trip to the NBA Finals in nearly 50 years.
If the Hawks can’t find a solution defending the paint, their season very well might be over whether Young returns or not from a deep bone bruise in his right foot.
Hawks coach Nate McMillan said he couldn’t explain why his team’s defense disappeared in Game 5.
“We knew that they were going to come with that sense of urgency tonight,” McMillan said. “They were going to continue to attack even without Giannis in the lineup. That’s just how they play. … They just dominated the paint tonight.”