After exactly 50 years, the Milwaukee Bucks have a chance to win their second NBA championship tonight in game 6 against the Phoenix Suns. After both teams won their first two games at home, the Bucks surprised the Suns in Game 5 and stole the win after their big three of Giannis, Jrue Holiday, and Khris Middleton all had outstanding individual performances that propelled the Bucks to an essential win.
With their backs to the wall, the Suns will have to figure out a way to steal game six from the Bucks as five-point underdogs and end their three-game losing streak. Other than Devin Booker, who’s been consistent throughout this series, others Suns players will have to step up, and a lot of the spotlight will be on Chris Paul, who is having the worst series so far in this playoffs.
The key to success for the Bucks were minor adjustments to the lineup in which they gave more minutes to guys like Bobby Portis and Pat Connaughton, which was a great move that paid off immediately. Obviously, their leading players stepped up as well, especially Giannis and Jrue Holiday, who have been tremendous on both ends of the floor. Jrue Holiday should get special notice because of his incredible defense on Chris Paul and is probably the first player in the entire playoffs that can slow down Paul and his impact on the game.
Most NBA fans and analysts had Suns as the legitimate winners, especially after winning the first two games at home. Since then, the momentum shifted in the Bucks’ favor, and they did the unthinkable, and now the narrative is different. The Bucks are a clear favorite to win the championships in front of their home crowd, and there is no question Giannis and the rest of the crew will do everything in their power to finish this series at home.
The Suns, on the other hand, will have to showcase the same intensity, precision, desire, and basketball savviness we saw from them so far in the playoffs when they eliminated one team after the other. A lot of the attention in tonight’s game will be surrounding the matchup between Paul and Holiday, and Paul will need to find a way to dominate the game and put his team in a position to win.
No matter who wins the game tonight, we are definitely in for an exciting contest, and there is no question both teams will give everything they have to win this crucial game. For the Bucks, it means their second championship in 50 years, and for Suns, a chance to force game 7 and potentially win their first-ever title in front of their home crowd. Nobody expected this series to be this exciting, or even that these two teams will make this far in the playoffs. However, they are here now, and it all boils down to who will come more mentally and physically prepared to take home this crucial win.