- The Atlanta Hawks’ superstar point guard Trae Young will be out for Game 5 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals.
- Young missed Game 4 and has been listed as ‘questionable’ and ‘game time decision’ ever since.
- The team says that Young will ‘continue to rehab’ and target a Game 6 return.
The Atlanta Hawks have ruled out Trae Young for Thursday’s Game 5 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals against the Milwaukee Bucks. Young missed Game 4 of the series with a bone bruise in his right foot and has been listed as ‘questionable’ or ‘game time decision’ for Game 5 ever since. Atlanta coach Nate McMillan indicated that after testing the injury before the game Young didn’t feel comfortable enough with his rehab progress to play tonight in Milwaukee. Young suffered the injury in the second half of Game 3 when he accidentally stepped on the foot of a game official. The word from the team is that Young will continue his rehab with hopes of returning for Game 6 in Atlanta on Saturday.
Atlanta did got some positive injury news on Thursday–shooting guard Bogdan Boganovic and center Clint Capela have been upgraded to ‘probable’ after their status was in question due to injuries. Both players had previously been listed as ‘questionable’. Bogdanovic has been dealing with knee soreness throughout the playoffs though he has been very effective despite the discomfort. Capela took an elbow to the face in the fourth quarter of Game 4 resulting in a swollen right eye.
Earlier today, the Milwaukee Bucks confirmed that Giannis Antetokounmpo would not play in Game 5. This was largely expected after Antetokounmpo suffered a hyperextended knee in Game 4 following an awkward landing that sent him sprawling to the court. Initial concern over possible structural damage was ruled out by a MRI yesterday but there is still no timetable for his return. With the typical recovery time for a ‘mild’ hyperextension of the knee somewhere between two and four weeks he could possibly miss the rest of the series.
The absence of Antetokounmpo was quickly priced in by the betting marketplace though there had been some optimism that Young would be able to play tonight. After bookmakers opened Game 4 at Milwaukee -3 they were met by ‘sharp’ action on the Hawks that pushed the line down to -2 and -2.5. Following the Bucks confirmation that Antetokounmpo would be out for Game 5 the line settled at -3 just about everywhere–likely the ‘public’ getting down on Milwaukee. The Bucks received heavy public action in Game 4 and that’s likely to occur once again tonight now that both teams have ruled out their respective superstars.
Since the announcement that Trae Young will also miss the game there has been even more action coming on the Milwaukee Bucks. This is clearly ‘public’ money since any ‘sharp’ player that liked the Bucks would have taken a much better price earlier in the betting cycle. Milwaukee is showing at -4.5 all across the Las Vegas books on the betting board including South Point, Circa, Golden Nugget, Westgate, Wynn, Stations, Caesars/William Hill and the Mirage. The same is true in Colorado with BetMGM, Rivers, PointsBet, DraftKings, FanDuel, Betfred, Betway, TwinSpires and PlayUp also at -4.5. Bally Bet is currently dealing Milwaukee -4. Offshore books including BetOnline.ag are also showing -4.5 as the predominant line.
VSIN has this breakdown of betting splits from DraftKings updated at 2:39 PM Pacific/5:39 Eastern:
The total on the game has plummeted in the past hour–earlier today, it was steady at 215 or 215.5 but since the word came on Young’s status for Game 5 it has dropped as low as 212.5 though there are still plenty of books at 213 or 213.5. Many sportsbooks in Nevada and Colorado moved to 212.5 but immediately found some ‘Over’ support and are back at 213. The moneyline ranges from Milwaukee -180 to -190 with takeback on Atlanta between +150 and +160.
Tipoff for Game 5 is 8:35 PM Pacific from the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee. TV coverage in the US will be provided by TNT.