NBA

NBA Finals: Bucks look to get back in series

The Phoenix Suns lead the Milwaukee Bucks 2-0 as the NBA Finals shifts to Milwaukee for game three. Will the Suns take a 3-0 lead or will the Bucks cut their deficit in half?

The Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks are set for tip-off of game three of the NBA Finals on Sunday night. The Suns took care of business in games one and two of The Finals, winning each game by double-digits to take 2-0 series lead into Milwaukee. The two teams will play games three and four at Fiserv Forum before heading back to Phoenix for game five, if necessary. The Bucks find themselves as close to must-win territory as you can possibly be, without actually being in must-win territory. With a loss on Sunday, they would face a 3-0 series deficit; a hole no team in NBA history has ever dug themselves out of, in any round of the playoffs. 

h2>Bucks searching for answers heading into game three

The Bucks enter this game looking for some consistency from their supporting cast. Superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo has been excellent, despite coming off a knee injury that many thought would have sidelined him for the remainder of the playoffs. He scored a game-high 42 points in game two on 15-22 shooting and grabbed 12 rebounds. Khris Middleton, who was good in game one, added just 11 points on 5-16 shooting. Offseason acquisition Jrue Holiday has scored just 27 points total in the entire series, on 11-35 from the field. The Bucks have had some players step up, like Pat Connaughton in game two who nailed four threes for 14 points, and Brook Lopez who had 17 in game one. But they cannot continue to rely on rolling the dice to see where their next big performance comes from. At least one of Middleton and Holiday need to step up and make their imprint on this series if Milwaukee wants a chance to hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy.

Suns’ confidence sky-high after two Finals games

The Suns head into game three on the road bursting at the seams with confidence. They have had no trouble producing offense between their three core guys, and it has gotten them within striking distance of the franchise’s first-ever NBA championship. Veteran Chris Paul has been magnificent, putting up 27.5 points and 8.5 assists per game on 56% shooting and 7-12 from three. Devin Booker sits at 29.0 points and 6.0 assists per game in the series, including a game two three-point explosion where he hit seven on 12 attempts. DeAndre Ayton was a monster on the glass in game one, grabbing 19 rebounds to go with 22 points on 8-10 shooting. And he was all over the floor in game two, posting 10 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks and 0 turnovers. The club is coming off a lethal three-point shooting performance that saw them hit twenty threes on forty attempts. 

Players to watch

All eyes are on Holiday in game three. He simply has not found his rhythm in this series and the Bucks will need him on both ends of the court if they want to swing momentum.

Paul is a guy to watch for on the other side. Coming into a hostile environment in a game that the opponent unofficially needs to win, the Suns know they are going to get the Bucks’ best shot. Composure and focus will be a requirement for Phoenix in a game like this, and Paul is by-far the most experienced and tested player on the roster. Not only will he need to take control from a leadership standpoint, but if the game comes down to the wire, expect Paul to be the one with the ball in his hands in the final minutes.

Odds

ComeOn! Sportsbook favors the home-side Bucks in game three with a money line of 1.51, while the Suns are set at 2.50.