|Team||Point Spread||Total||Money Line|
|Milwaukee Bucks||+5.5 (-110)
|O 217 (-115)
|Phoenix Suns||-5.5 (-110)
|U 217 (-105)
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The Milwaukee Bucks are a capable side, but they are missing a big piece with Giannis Antetokounmpo out. The Phoenix Suns play tremendous team basketball, and their stars are more than capable of stepping up. Phoenix should take advantage of their home court.
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|Milwaukee Bucks vs Phoenix Suns Information|
|Teams||Milwaukee Bucks vs Phoenix Suns|
|Location||Phoenix Suns Arena, Phoenix, Arizona|
|Time||9:00 PM EST, July 6th, 2021|
|How to Watch||ABC|
|Milwaukee Bucks||Head-to-Head||Phoenix Suns|
|Mike Budenholzer||Head Coach||Monty Williams|
|46-26 (3rd in East)||Standing||51-21 (2nd in West)|
|117.2 (6th of 30)||Off Rtg||117.2 (5th of 30)|
|111.4 (10th of 30)||Def Rtg||111.3 (9th of 30)|
|102.2 (2nd of 30)||Pace||97.2 (26th of 30)|
Leaders (Per Game)
|G. Antetokounmpo (28.2)||PPG||D. Booker (27.0)|
|G. Antetokounmpo (12.7)||RPG||D. Ayton (11.8)|
|J. Holiday (8.4)||APG||C. Paul (8.7)|
|J. Holiday, K. Middleton (1.5)||SPG||C. Paul (1.4)|
|B. Lopez (1.8)||BPG||D. Ayton (0.9)|
|B. Lopez (.572)/G. Antetokounmpo (11.6)||FG%/FGM||D. Ayton (.706)/D. Booker (9.2)|
|J. Teague (.500)/K. Middleton (2.6)||3P%/3PM||C. Johnson (.451)/J. Crowder (2.4)|
The Milwaukee Bucks can boast one of the better Eastern Conference runs over the last ten years, missing the playoffs just four times. They even had Giannis Antetokounmpo leading them through much of this stretch, where he won two NBA Most Valuable Player Awards.
Antetokounmpo may be out for a few games in this series, but it’s obvious who their leaders are. Of their top three players in terms of plus-minus, Antetokounmpo is joined by Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday. Making up Antetokounmpo’s 28 points per game won’t be easy, but it’ll be up to head coach Mike Budenholzer to find a way.
Unlikely to go more than eight or nine players deep in Game 1 without Antetokounmpo, the Bucks need to enforce their trademark offense early. Efficient production across the board is the best way for them to overcome the loss of their star.
Jrue Holiday is ridiculous ?
We got a game pic.twitter.com/5zMiovDW9N
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 4, 2021
The Bucks’ last two games against the Atlanta Hawks, where they had to play without Giannis Antetokounmpo for the majority, also looked like an audition for the Bucks’ first option. With the Greek Freak out, Holiday looked fantastic.
With Antetokounmpo out due to injury, Holiday averaged 26 points, 11 assists, and 7.5 rebounds per game on 46.5% shooting from the field. While he also committed four turnovers per game, Holiday’s playmaking more than made up for it.
The Bucks’ star man is still listed as day-to-day, but they seem to be in good hands with Holiday running the show. Make no mistake, the Bucks are at a disadvantage. However, Holiday has the ability to help bridge their gap in production due to injury.
The Phoenix Suns are in the NBA Finals, a statement that few expected when the 2020-2021 NBA Season began. The reason for their success has been their growth and willingness to compete on different areas of the court.
They can beat you with reliance on the scoring of their stars like Booker and Paul. Or Monty Williams can beat you from the chalkboard, as seen through their famous “Valley-Oop” victory in Game 2. Of course, they can also rely on their role players like Bridges, Payne, and Crowder who all average double-digit scoring.
The Bucks play a fast-paced game but are more than willing to fight in the halfcourt. Phoenix has shown how tough they can be, and with Antetokounmpo’s injury, the Suns look as if the series is in their favor.
Chris Paul with some sorcery on ESPN. pic.twitter.com/NLDH0XFqZs
— NBA (@NBA) June 27, 2021
Nobody expected that the Suns would be as good as they’ve proven to be this year. In fact, reaching the NBA Finals seemed like a pipe dream for a franchise that hadn’t made the NBA Playoffs in a decade. The key to their success is found in one player, Chris Paul.
In Phoenix’s pivotal Game 7 against the LA Clippers in the Western Conference Final, Chris Paul led the blowout. Paul posted 41 points, eight assists, and four rebounds on a fantastic 16 of 24 shooting from the field. Usually a playmaker first, Paul outdid expectations with his 41 points and even converted on 7 of 8 three-point field goal attempts.
Given it is the opening game of the series, Paul will certainly be focused on getting his teammates involved against the shorthanded Bucks. But given his offensive form, the Suns will be encouraged that Paul can always fall back on his scoring ability.
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Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
Email: [email protected]More info on Christian Jope
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