Bucks vs. Suns: 2021 NBA Finals preview
The Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns are set to clash on Tuesday, July 6 in Game 1 of the 2021 NBA Finals, and it's shaping up to be a wild series.
Let’s take a deep dive into this intriguing matchup and predict who will take home the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
NBA Championship 2020/2021
Mon, August 30 2021, 11:57 PM
Bucks mission not yet complete
The Bucks entered this postseason on a mission to avenge their 2020 season, where they were upset in the second round of the playoffs by the Miami Heat despite being favorites to win it all. They got their revenge over the Heat in the first round with a dominating sweep.
The Bucks then took down this year’s favorite to win it all, the Brooklyn Nets, in a grueling seven game series. They followed that up with a six game series victory over the Atlanta Hawks to get to where they seemed to be destined for last season, the NBA Finals.
However, the mission is not yet complete for Coach Bud and the Bucks. They will now get their shot in a series with the Phoenix Suns, who have never won an NBA Finals.
Mike Budenholzer won 4 NBA Championships as an assistant for the Spurs, this will be his first trip to the Finals as a head coach.— George Balekji (@GeorgeBalekji) July 4, 2021
"It's the players that do it. I love our group, I love coaching them... its really just joy and happiness for your players."#FearTheDeer pic.twitter.com/iXmr0QbckD
The young Suns are ready
Coming into this postseason, the Suns only had two rotation players who had even played in the playoffs, and Jae Crowder was the only player who had ever appeared in an NBA Finals.
However, these baby Suns came through and took down the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers in the first round before taking down the Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Clippers. Stars like Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton certainly do not seem to be shy from the spotlight of the postseason, and it's unlikely their lack of experience will suddenly arise in this series.
Bucks vs. Suns X-Factors
The big x-factor for the Bucks is going to be the health of Giannis Antetokounmpo. It is still unclear if "The Greek Freak" will be available at all during this series. The former MVP sat out the final two games of the Eastern Conference Finals after injuring his knee in Game 4. The most likely scenario is that he will sit out the early part of the series and may try to make a comeback if the Bucks fall into a hole early.
The big x-factor for the Suns is Mikal Bridges. We know about the usual suspects like Paul, Booker, and Ayton. However, Bridges has had some big games this postseason as well. In the Denver series, Bridges averaged 16.0 points per game. He will be vital to be that extra scoring option with Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton defending Paul and Booker.
Bucks vs. Suns series prediction
“Suns in 4” has been a fun motto for this team this postseason, but even without Giannis I do not expect a sweep. Middleton has been playing outstanding after getting off to a slow start to this postseason. Holiday has also stepped up in big moments and Brook Lopez played excellent basketball in the two games without Giannis.
However, I do expect the Suns to ultimately take home the Larry O’Brien Trophy and for Paul to take home Finals MVP honors to cement his hall of fame legacy. I like the Suns to win the series in six games at +450 odds.