The stage is set. The best team in the West is set to take on the best team in the East. Milwaukee Bucks vs Phoenix Suns. No one expected this to be the finals. Everyone must have predicted the Lakers and the Nets. How did these teams get here and who will the NBA Finals?
How difficult Was It for the Milwaukee Bucks to Make the NBA Finals?
The Milwaukee Bucks finished 3rd in the Eastern Conference. In the first round they had to play the former Eastern Conference Champions. Not only was that something difficult but it was also the team that kicked out the Bucks from the Playoffs last year. The Milwaukee Bucks did not want to take any chances so they did what every higher seeded team does. They utterly dominated the Miami Heat and swept them.
Just fresh off beating the conference champions, the road to the finals got significantly harder. They played the Brooklyn Nets in round 2, who were stacked with 3 superstar level players. Not only were the favorites in the series but also favorites to win the NBA title.
But lady luck favored the Bucks and 2 of the Brooklyn’s Big 3 went down with injuries. To add more luck, they won the series because Kevin Durant‘s feet are too big.
In the conference finals it seemed like the luck would not stop as Trae Young bruised his bone because he stepped on the leg of the referee. But all good things come at a price. And for all the luck Giannis Antetokounmpo hyperextend his knee in game 4 and hasn’t played since. The Bucks persevered and won that series but the health of Giannis is still up in the air.
Injuries: Donte DiVincenzo will continue to sit out with his foot injury. Giannis’s status will be a game time decision.
X Factors: Jrue Holiday has been exceptional in the playoffs and has really dialed it up in Giannis’s absence. Middleton has been inconsistent but he has more good games than bad. Lopez and Portis won’t be able to dominate like they did vs Atlanta but they are a legit scoring threat now.
How Tough the Phoenix Suns Road to the Final?
It’s fair to say that the only hurdle that came in the way of the Phoenix Suns was the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round, the hardest matchup they faced. Which is strange considering it should get harder the further you go. But After Losing Game 1, Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers Dominated the Suns and went 2-1 up. That’s when the Suns got some luck of their own as AD went down with and injury and the Suns won the next 3 games in a row.
More luck came for the Suns when they played the Los Angeles Clippers without Kawhi Leonard. Kawhi picked up an injury in Game 4 vs the Utah Jazz and did not play any more games after that. The Clippers were good and fought hard but not as strong as the Suns were.
Injuries: The Suns have managed to avoid the plague of injuries and are entering the finals at full strength.
Prediction: I expect this series to be really competitive and go to 6 or 7 games. And at the end of it all we see Giannis and the Milwaukee Bucks show off their NBA Title.
ALL. THE. FEELS. pic.twitter.com/p2agjJbboS
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) July 4, 2021
Both the NBA Finalists had a lot of luck factor into their success. But we know luck and skill go hand in hand. Will the NBA Champions be determined on which team is luckier?