NBA Finals Preview and Prediction
NBA Finals Schedule
Game 1: Tuesday, July 6 | Milwaukee at Phoenix, 9 ET
Game 2: Thursday, July 8 | Milwaukee at Phoenix, 9 ET
Game 3: Sunday, July 11 | Phoenix at Milwaukee, 8 ET
Game 4: Wednesday, July 14 | Phoenix at Milwaukee, 9 ET
Game 5: Saturday, July 17 | Milwaukee at Phoenix, 9 ET (if necessary)
Game 6: Tuesday, July 20 | Phoenix at Milwaukee, TBD (if necessary)
Game 7: Thursday, July 22 | Milwaukee at Phoenix, TBD (if necessary)
The NBA finals will look different this year. There's no LeBron, no Steph, none of the regular crop of players that we have become accustomed to seeing play this late in the year. Instead, we get a fresh matchup! The Phoenix Suns are looking to claim their first NBA championship ever, while the Bucks will try to win their first since 1971. Who will claim the throne as NBA champions? Here are my predictions!
Chris Paul's pursuit of winning his first championship looked laughable coming into the season. Despite having a great run in the bubble last season, the Suns were being overlooked for more established teams like the Clippers or Lakers. However, that didn't stop Phoenix from becoming a threat in the West. Finishing the year as the number one seed, they knocked off LeBron, made quick work of the Nuggets, and finished off the Clippers in six.
Sure they’ve had some luck along the way. They didn’t have to face Anthony Davis playing the Lakers, or Jamal Murray playing the Nuggets, and they even lucked out against the Clippers with Leonard missing in action. Say what you will, but a big part of winning a championship is remaining healthy, and the Suns (other than a Chris Paul COVID scare) have managed to do just that.
With all that said, the Suns have been a wagon this postseason. Chris Paul has gotten stronger and stronger the further Phoenix has progressed. Against the Clippers, Paul averaged 25 points (his most of any series these playoffs) and put up an incredible 41 points in Game six to clinch a Finals berth. The Suns' supporting cast has been stellar too. Booker, Ayton, Bridges, Johnson and Payne will all need to be present to capture the franchises first title.
Unlike the Suns, the Bucks have been a staple in the East the last few seasons. However, after multiple letdowns, they have finally gotten the monkey off their backs. They ousted the Heat in the first round, came back against the Nets, and then put away the upstart Atlanta Hawks. Every round they've had to overcome some type of adversity that in other years they may not have, which may be bad news for Phoenix.
The biggest question mark of all this series is the health of Giannis. Lopez and Middleton stepped up big time in his absence against the Hawks, but the Bucks will most certainly need their star player if they hope to put the final nail in the coffin. He is currently working out, but even if he does manage to play game one, how will he look? And maybe more importantly, could he injure himself even further? Something to watch out for.
If the former MVP does miss time, the Bucks can still be competitive. They are great rebounding team with a lot of max effort guys in and out of the starting lineup. Holiday, Lopez, and Middleton will need to go to another level if they hope to replace the void left by their star teammate. But given the fact that the Suns have beaten the Bucks in both of their meetings this season, they'll need to pull something special out of the hat if Giannis does miss time.
This series has all the makings of a great NBA Finals. been great on both sides of the ball, and both have plenty of firepower to make things interesting. I love the Suns in this series. They've been able to go from irrelevance to one of the most entertaining teams in the NBA. Devin Booker has always been overlooked, and Chris Paul has been chastised from past playoff failures. Not after this finals run. The Suns will be crowned the NBA champs! Suns in fou….. No...
Suns in 6! Paul takes home Finals MVP!