The NBA Finals are upon us, with the matchup that everyone was expecting in the preseason. The Phoenix Suns vs the Milwaukee Bucks. Seriously, if you called this one, you’d better be in Vegas right now. It’s far from the expected finals, but with these two teams having met twice in the regular season and the Suns winning both of those games by a combined two points. I think we are in for one hell series.
The Phoenix Suns
The Suns reach their first NBA Finals since 1993 and are looking to win the franchise’s first NBA Title. They aim to do this with the all-star tandem of Devin Booker and Chris Paul. With their supporting cast of Jae Crowder, DeAndre Ayton, and depth off the bench, the Suns rolled through the NBA Playoffs like they rolled through the regular season. 51-21 in the regular season and 12-4 in the postseason, and sporting a 8-2 home record in these playoffs. The Suns will have home court advantage in this series. And no, we’re not in a State Farm commercial. Chris Paul is in the finals. And he is my MVP pick when it’s all said and done.
The Milwaukee Bucks
You have to go back a little further than 1993 for the Bucks’ last Finals appearance. 1974 to be exact. They do have one NBA title to their name, coming in 1971, however. Will they able to secure their second 50 years later? They may have to get started without Giannis Antetokounmpo however, who is listed as doubtful for Game 1 with a knee injury that knocked him out of the final two games of the Eastern Conference finals. Some good news is that the Bucks won both of those games, and their supporting cast rivals, if not bests, that of the Suns. Jrue Holiday and Kris Middleton are threats from deep. Brook Lopez is as hot as anyone right now, scoring a playoff career high 33 points in the Bucks Game 5 win without Giannis.
Series Matchup and Prediction
As much fun as it is to watch guys like Steph, LeBron, and Kawhi in the Finals, I’m looking forward to seeing some first timers shine. Devin Booker, Chris Paul and Giannis Antetokounmpo are looking to find their way into the history books in their first finals’ appearance. The Suns play a very physical style of defense and have two big time playmakers in Booker and CP3. But the Bucks aren’t just Giannis, as has been proven in Game 5 and 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals. As I’ve noted before, the Suns had the benefit of going up against injury riddled teams in these playoffs. No AD, no Murray, and no Kawhi for parts or all of their series wins. And it’s looking like no Giannis for Game 1. If that is the case, it will be a very tough test for Middleton, Holiday and Lopez. But if they can eek out a win and still get Giannis back for Game 2 or 3 I think they’d in great shape for this series. It’s hard to go against a rested Suns team with the home court advantage, though.
Prediction: Suns in Six
Finals MVP: Chris Paul
Game 1:Milwaukee at Phoenix, 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday (ABC)
Game 2:Milwaukee at Phoenix, 9 p.m. ET on Thursday (ABC)
Game 3: Phoenix at Milwaukee, 8 p.m. ET on Sunday (ABC)
Game 4: Phoenix at Milwaukee, 9 p.m. ET on July 14 (ABC)
*Game 5: Milwaukee at Phoenix, 9 p.m. ET on July 17 (ABC)
*Game 6: Phoenix at Milwaukee, 9 p.m. ET on July 20 (ABC)
*Game 7: Milwaukee at Phoenix, 9 p.m. ET on July 22 (ABC)
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