The season finale is about to begin as the Milwaukee Bucks take on the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Finals. The two teams have battled their way through their respective conferences and are now ready to play for it all. This is a very unique Finals with just Jae Crowder having experience in this setting. Not only that, but none of the players on either team has an NBA title to their name. Both of these organizations have gone through a lot of bad basketball coupled with narrow misses, but one will come out on top and make all of that pain worthwhile.
Let’s break down the NBA Finals in this preview.
The Milwaukee Bucks are going to need Giannis Antetokounmpo healthy if they want to win this series. The Suns have shown that they have the ability and the roster to spread the ball around and get double-digits from five or more players if they need. The Bucks need to make a focus on the paint and with their big men in general. Not just Giannis, but Brook Lopez and P.J. Tucker as well. Get the bigs going early and open the floor up for Khris Middleton and your other shooters.
Bucks are pulling away ? pic.twitter.com/3rQCd5V6Me
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) July 2, 2021
Deandre Ayton cannot be allowed to overpower the bigs for the Bucks. If Ayton starts to get second chance rebounds, blocked shots on defense, and easy baskets inside then the Suns are going to run away. Staying out of foul trouble is necessary and honestly, forcing Ayton into foul trouble would be ideal.
For the Phoenix Suns, I think the game plan is the opposite. The Suns have Ayton down low and he’s a wonderful player that has come into his own this postseason. However, that is not what the Suns have built their success on. The backcourt is going to be just as vital to Phoenix as the frontcourt is to the Bucks. Devin Booker and Chris Paul are the usual suspects, and they are immensely important. Either one could be Finals MVP by the time this series is over with.
The key for the Phoenix backcourt has been and will continue to be Cam Payne. The former Murray State Racers was in China playing ball just over a year ago and now he is in the NBA Finals and one of the biggest reasons the Suns have gotten to this point. Payne’s play off the bench on defense has been great, giving the elder Paul more time to rest when needed. If he puts up 10+ points then I expect the Suns to be in good shape.
Chris Paul has been ON ONE all night ? pic.twitter.com/PcQcwOyFHL
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) July 1, 2021
Stopping Giannis is not an easy task and it may not be possible. So for Phoenix, they need to focus on their game and executing their own plans. Trying to stop the Greek Freak usually ends up in a lot of fouls for your team and a lot of free throws for the big man. Even though his free throws were something that fans have ridiculed in the postseason, you don’t want him taking 12 or 15+ free throws.
The Bucks should try to disrupt Chris Paul as much as possible. He is the general of the offense and getting him off his game will be advantageous. Booker has been streaky so far this postseason and you just hope he stays that way. If Book if raining threes on your head, you’re going to have a bad day. That’s not all he does though, the Bucks need to limit his free throws as well. A modern shooting guard with a bit of a chip on his shoulder is a dangerous thing to have driving the paint at you.