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NBA

NBA Finals: Bucks, Suns staying calm despite momentum shift

The Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns will face off on Tuesday night in game six of the NBA Finals. The Bucks will look to close out the series at home while the Suns look to force a game seven in Phoenix.

Game six of the NBA Finals is set to take place on Tuesday night at 9:00 PM ET as the Milwaukee Bucks host the Phoenix Suns from Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee. Holding a 3-2 series lead, the Bucks are one win away from their first NBA Championship since 1974 and will have a chance to end the 47-year drought in front of their home crowd. 

One win away from a league title, Bucks trying not to get ahead of themselves

The Bucks come into game six riding a three-game win streak in the series. They dropped the first two games at home by double digits before answering with a pair of their own home wins, and finally stealing game five in Phoenix. With a chance to close it out, the Bucks head into game six with high hopes and sky-high confidence but are doing their best to not get ahead of themselves.

“It’s hard,” Giannis Antetokounmpo told Tim Bontemps of ESPN, speaking on how to stay focused and present in such a big moment. “It’s hard because, like, you work so hard to be in that moment, which is tomorrow. It’s hard not to get ahead of yourself. But this is the time that you’ve got to be the most discipline. And that is what I’m going to try to be; I’m going to try to be as discipline as possible,” Antetokounmpo continued. “Don’t get too excited, don’t get too pumped up for the game. None of that. I can’t play the game right now. The game is tomorrow … right now there is nothing I can do about that. So I don’t even try to think about that.”

“We cannot have any plans about celebrating. None of that, until it’s done. And that’s the mindset I’m going to have until tomorrow.” 

Suns staying positive ahead of elimination game on the road

The Suns are focused on maintaining optimism as they face elimination heading into game six. The team has had an incredible season up to this point, including a dominant regular season and a convincing playoff run that got them to the NBA Finals without ever facing elimination. And after jumping out to a 2-0 lead in The Finals, that trend felt like it was here to stay. But following three-straight losses, something the team has gone through just one other time this season, the Suns’ world has completely turned. Head coach Monty Williams is confident in his team’s ability to stay level-headed through the ups and downs.

“From day one … we weren’t going to allow wins or losses to dictate the culture and the spirit of our gym. Now, when you lose in the playoffs there’s a natural tendency to allow it to dip a little bit because we’re all human. But I think we have a level of bounce back on our team and the organization that allows for us to get the spirit back,” Williams said. “I saw it yesterday when we got on the plane, the guys had the same look in their eyes.”

“Those kinds of losses are hard, but if you’re going to do anything big you have to overcome those kinds of hards. I don’t know of any team that’s won a championship that’s just kind of strolled into it. … We’ve talked about that, the deep playoff hurts that happen and the ability to bounce back from that.”

Players to watch

Antetokounmpo has been nothing short of spectacular in these finals. The 26-year-old superstar is averaging 32.2 points, 13.0 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.2 blocks per game on 61.2% shooting. He is heavily favored by ComeOn! Sportsbook to win Finals MVP at 1.25 heading into Tuesday night’s game. Khris Middleton has also had a tremendous series for Milwaukee averaging 25.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game.

Suns guard Chris Paul is another name to look out for. Paul has had an up-and-down series but the young Suns team will turn to the veteran for leadership and production in an elimination game on the road. The Suns will also look to 24-year-old Devin Booker for offense. The young star has put up 30.0 points per game in these finals on 47% shooting.

Odds

ComeOn! Sportsbook has the Bucks set at 1.51 to take game six and win this season’s NBA Title, while the Suns are set at 2.65 to pickup the win and force game seven at home.