With Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s availability up in the air heading into the NBA Finals, the Suns were considered the favorites to win the title. And even though Antetokounmpo was able to suit up for Games 1 and 2, Phoenix won both games, securing a 2-0 lead and further cementing the club’s position as the championship frontrunner.
Since then, however, Antetokounmpo and the Bucks have stormed back. Milwaukee has won three consecutive games, including a pair that went down to the wire. And Giannis has led the way in those victories, averaging an eye-popping 33.0 points, 12.0 rebounds, and 6.7 assists per game on 60.0% shooting. The two-time MVP also delivered signature moments in the final minutes of Games 4 and 5, with an incredible blocked shot last Wednesday and an impressive alley-oop finish on Saturday.
While Antetokounmpo has been the driving force behind Milwaukee’s comeback, he’s gotten some help. Khris Middleton poured in 40 points in the Bucks’ Game 4 win and added 29 more in Game 5. Jrue Holiday, after shooting just 4-of-20 in Game 4, made 12-of-20 shots in Game 5, racking up 27 points and 13 assists to go along with a key late-game steal.
The Suns, meanwhile, have gotten up-and-down production from their stars during their three-game losing streak. Devin Booker scored just 10 points on 3-of-14 shooting in Game 3. He bounced back with 42 points in Game 4, but Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton combined for only 16 points on 8-of-22 shooting in that loss.
Booker (40 points), Paul (21 points, 11 assists), and Ayton (20 points, 10 rebounds) were firing on all cylinders in Game 5, but it wasn’t enough — the Suns shot .552/.684/.909, but didn’t play quite enough defense to pull out a win in their home arena.
Now the Suns find themselves in a tough spot tonight. They’ll have to head into Fiserv Forum, where the Bucks are 9-1 so far in the postseason, and find a way to force a Game 7. If a Game 7 is necessary, it’ll take place on Thursday in Phoenix, so the Suns could once again emerge as the favorites to take home the title. But for the time being, they’re significant underdogs, on the road facing a 3-2 deficit. The Bucks are favored by five points on Tuesday.
We want to know what you’re expecting to happen tonight. Will this be the last day of the 2020/21 NBA season, with the Bucks winning a fourth straight game and earning a championship? Or do the Suns have a little more life in them? Can they force a Game 7?
Vote in our poll, then head to the comment section below to share your predictions!
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