If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone expecting a Milwaukee Bucks vs Phoenix Suns matchup in the 2021 NBA Finals, let’s just say that I wouldn’t be a very rich person.
But here we are, as the Suns are going for their first-ever championship, and the Bucks are going for their second. I guess now is the best time to introduce you to our 2021 NBA Finals game 1 pick and preview! Let’s kick things off!
Suns vs Bucks Game 1 | A Closer Look
Giannis Antetokounmpo has been recently upgraded from doubtful to questionable in this one, as he’s currently nursing a hyperextended left knee injury. The health of Antetokounmpo is obviously something to monitor, as the entire series could very well depend on whether he plays or not.
Antetokounmpo is a two-time MVP who can drive down the lane with ease and either power it home with a dunk or use his outstretched arms to lay it in. If Antetokounmpo draws a double team on the drive, then he has a plethora of options he can swing it to for open looks from all over the floor.
In two closeout games, Khris Middleton has stepped up and looked more like the Batman than the Robin, averaging 29.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and 7.5 assists in those games to put away the Atlanta Hawks.
Jrue Holiday also had a huge impact in those two games, putting up 26.0 points, 11.0 assists, and 7.5 rebounds, proving more than capable of filling in for Antetokounmpo in the process.
Brook Lopez looked nearly invincible in Game 5, as he was taking advantage of holes in the Hawks’ defense and going back to his traditional postgame to put up 33 points on 14-of-18 shooting.
The Suns will go wherever Devin Booker takes them, as the young guard is continuing his meteoric rise to one of the league’s best superstars. He struggled with his 3-point shot in the Western Conference Finals, but still found a way to average over 25 points per game.
Chris Paul had his struggles in the first couple of games in the series, but he answered the bell big time in Game 6, as he put up 41 points and eight assists, going back to being a “Point God.”
Deandre Ayton is continuing to thrive as he takes the next step of his career, as he averaged nearly 18 points per game on about 70 percent shooting from the floor in the conference finals. He and Paul have developed a great rapport, so it’ll be up to the Bucks to protect the paint to limit the damage he can inflict.
2021 NBA Finals Game 1 Pick
Both teams match up very well against one another, so expect a close game in Game 1 of this series, especially if Antetokounmpo gets cleared to play and can have some sort of impact in this one.
If Antetokounmpo isn’t able to play, then the Suns will likely have the advantage to win this game, especially when you consider that they’ll be in front of their home fans.
These two teams really had to fight hard to get to the Finals, so expect them to display their grit out there each and every possession!