Who will be the breakout star of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals? Does Khris Middleton live up to his Olympian billing and lead the Bucks? Or maybe it’s Jrue Holiday‘s time to shine? Does Kevin Huerter get loose for Atlanta? Does Lou Williams turn back the clock to Sixth Man of the Year Sweet Lou again?
It is also not a surprise in either case.
Antetokounmpo hyperextended his left knee in Game 4 and was forced out of the game with the injury. While the Bucks have been vague about the actual injury — although reports say there is no structural damage — it’s highly unlikely he didn’t at least suffer a bone bruise (something common to hyperextensions), and that would sideline him the rest of this series, at least.
Young was questionable up until closer to game time, but the team has ruled him out.
An @emoryhealthcare injury report for tonight’s game at Milwaukee:
Bogdan Bogdanovic: Available
Clint Capela: Available
Trae Young: Out
Brandon Goodwin: Out
De’Andre Hunter: Out pic.twitter.com/8htOhwa883
— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) July 1, 2021
Young suffered a bone bruise in his right foot on a fluke play, where he stepped backward and his foot landed on top of the foot of a referee who was standing out of bounds.
Trae Young heads to the locker room with an apparent ankle injury
Prayers up 🙏 pic.twitter.com/KqbwUuUHMr
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 28, 2021
Young missed Game 4, but the Hawks stepped up behind Williams and got the win that evened the series, 2-2.
Which makes Game 5 critical — the winner of Game 5 in a 2-2 series goes on to win the series 75% of the time.
One of these teams will get that edge, but because a secondary player stepped up when the team’s brightest star was out.