The 2021 NBA Playoffs are entering the third round and that means that we’re onto the Eastern Conference Finals. The No. 3 seed Milwaukee Bucks will face the No. 5 Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference Finals, which are set to begin on Wednesday, June 23rd at 8:30 p.m. ET.
The Bucks had been the No. 1 seed in back-to-back seasons heading into 2020-21. It was a down year in the regular season as the Bucks finished with the third seed, behind the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets. That didn’t stop two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo from leading Milwaukee to its second conference finals in the past four seasons.
Milwaukee didn’t have an easy road on route to the ECF. The Heat had to take down last season’s Eastern Conference Champion Miami Heat, sweeping Jimmy Butler and Co. in four games after losing to them in five in 2020. Then, the Bucks went on to have an epic 7-game series against the Nets in which the Bucks held on in OT 115-111. You could argue Milwaukee was bailed out by injuries to James Harden and Kyrie Irving throughout the series, but that’s no excuse for the Nets losing. Anyway, the Bucks are back in the ECF and have a realistic shot at advancing to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1974.
The Hawks are a bit of a Cinderella team out of the East, having been on nobodies radar to make it this far. Atlanta got past the No. 4 seeded New York Knicks in the first round in five games. Taking down the No. 1 seed Sixers in the second round caught everyone off-guard, especially without wing De’Andre Hunter. The Hawks really just took advantage of the Sixers beating themselves. Philly had multiple collapses and now the Hawks will be in the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2015. Back then, now Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer was leading ATL to the playoffs each season. It’s the Bud Bowl!
The Bucks took two of three games from the Hawks during the regular season, though the Hawks lone win was without Trae Young in the lineup. Milwaukee was at full-strength for that game as well. This should be an evenly matched ECF considering what each team has had to do to make it to this point.
Here we’ll be tracking everything you need to know for the Bucks-Hawks series, including picks, injuries and the schedule. We know that Game 1 of this series will be Wednesday, June 23rd at 8:30 p.m. ET. We’ll provide the full schedule when it’s released.
Bucks vs. Hawks, Eastern Conference Finals schedule
Game 1: Hawks vs. Bucks, Wednesday, June 23rd 8:30 p.m. ET TNT
Game 2: Hawks vs. Bucks, Friday, June 25th, 8:30 p.m. ET TNT
Game 3: Bucks vs. Hawks, Sunday, June 27th, 8:30 p.m. ET TNT
Game 4: Bucks vs. Hawks, Tuesday, June 29th, 8:30 p.m. ET TNT
Game 5 (if needed): Hawks vs. Bucks, Thursday, July 1st, 8:30 p.m. ET TNT
Game 6 (if needed): Bucks vs. Hawks, Saturday, July 3rd, 8:30 p.m. ET TNT
Game 7 (if needed): Hawks vs. Bucks, Monday, July 5th, 8:30 p.m. ET TNT