NBA: Phoenix-Milwaukee, an unprecedented but not so surprising final

Nobody had bet on them at the start of the season. A Suns-Bucks poster in the NBA Finals, enough to make fans of both teams dream last December. The numbers don’t lie. Only one title for Milwaukee in 1971. The former franchise of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson even plays its first final since 1974. Opposite, the capital of Arizona has never been crowned in 53 years of existence, and its last final dates from 1993. The same goes for the players. In the roster for Game 1, no one has yet won an NBA ring. Phoenix’s strong winger Jae Crowder is the only one to have had a final, with the Miami Heat last season.

And yet, seeing the Milwaukee-Phoenix duel is not so much fun. The 3rd in the Eastern Conference against the 2nd in the Western Conference, the two best defenses of the playoffs, balanced squads carried by individuals Giannis Antetokounmpo and Chris Paul… So many assets that make this NBA final a refreshing but almost logical poster .

Phoenix Suns: a rise in power

After a successful regular season (70.8% victory), the team coached by Monty Williams has chained great performances in the playoffs. In addition to a sweep (4-0 victory) against Denver in the second round, the band at Chris Paul offered the luxury of eliminating the two Los Angeles teams by the same score (4-2): the LeBron James’ Lakers for their entry into the running, and Kawhi Leonard’s Clippers in the conference final. Summary of the post-season of the former team of Charles Barkley: only four defeats in the playoffs and no game 7 to play …

Symbol of this domination, the leader Chris Paul is at the peak of his career. At 36, the veteran has never known a final despite his 11 All-Star Game selections. His incredible Game 6 against the Clippers testifies to his super form: 41 points and no loss of ball. His experience is at the service of a younger collective. Around him, scorer Devin Booker and former 2018 draft No.1 DeAndre Ayton form a trio that works wonderfully. “When we put our energy together in the right direction, we can achieve great things like tonight,” Booker recalled at the end of the game against the Clippers. For the final, the Arizona franchise will start with home ground advantage.

Milwaukee Bucks: a long-awaited finale

The Bucks had been hoping for this final for 3 years. Leading the regular season two years in a row (2018-2019, 2019-2020), the Wisconsin franchise had failed at the gates of the NBA Finals last year against the Miami Heat. This year, Giannis Antetokounmpo’s team achieved exemplary playoffs. In the first round, Mike Budenholzer’s men swept the Heat, finalist last season. Just after, the former team of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar eliminated the Durant-Harden-Irving armada of the Brooklyn Nets in Game 7 before offering themselves, in the final in the East, Atalanta, the surprise of this post-season. . “The guys have worked hard this season and deserve to go to the final. We still have work to do to win the title, ”said their coach.

How to speak of Milwaukee without evoking the “Greek Freak”? The double-MVP (2018, 2019) once again marched on his opponents with 28.1 points average in the regular season. Better yet, this season, the 27-year-old Greek can be accompanied by his loyal lieutenant Khris Middleton, and the precious Jrue Holiday (17.6 points on average in the playoffs). The Bucks definitely have the guns to overthrow the Suns.

Injuries as a justice of the peace?

A not-so-amazing finish that should be balanced… Unless injuries come into play. On the Milwaukee side, the Greek star has suffered from hyperextension in his left knee since Game 4 of the conference finals. The “Greek Freak” is uncertain for Game 1 and could appear diminished throughout the series. Watch out for the Antetokounmpo-addiction, often criticized by the Bucks. “Giannis’ injury is perhaps the best thing that has happened to them in the playoffs. This will free Jrue Holiday who will defend on Chris Paul. I bet on a victory of the Bucks ”preferred to predict the legend Charles Barkley.

On the Suns side, it’s Chris Paul who also comes forward injured. The Team USA leader suffers from a partial torn ligament in his right hand, which did not prevent him from outperforming in the postseason. Beware of relapse all the same. Injuries that could tip the series to one side or the other. First element of response during the match 1 to 3 hours French time.

We want to thank the writer of this article for this remarkable material

NBA: Phoenix-Milwaukee, an unprecedented but not so surprising final