Milwaukee. Fiserv Forum Arena. 12.07.2021.
Milwaukee is coming off an 0-2 series lead in the playoffs, and Game 3 against Phoenix in the NBA Finals will be crucial. Can Giannis Adetokunbo pull his team out this time?
Milwaukee current form
The Bucks have won six of their last 10 playoff games, and the team has had various struggles over the course of the postseason. Milwaukee did beat Atlanta in Giannis Adetokunbo's absence, and the Greek forward has had time to recover. Donte DiVincenzo was already out during the series with Miami, and it's still not safe to say that the coach has found an equal replacement for him. The rotation has steadily included seven men until recently, and now Mike Budenholzer is considering Jeff Teague. Bryn Forbes is out for about 5 minutes now, so is Bobby Portis, although both had very successful games in the playoffs. Chris Middleton is alternating bad games with games in which he scores under 30 points, and Jrue Holiday is shooting even less frequently on offense: he's only hitting 41.1% of his shots from the game.
In the 2nd game of the series with Phoenix Mike Budenholzer's team lost again with a score of 108-118. Milwaukee led throughout the first quarter with a nine-point lead, but then their defense faltered and they began hitting three-pointers far less frequently. Once again, the Bucks decided to go for the linebackers frequently. On the positive side, we can point a score of 54 points from which is a sign of consistency. Giannis Antetokounmpo did his best to lead his team, scoring 42 points, while Holiday and Middleton combined for just 12 of his 37 shots on the evening.Phoenix current form
Phoenix current form
Despite Chris Paul's health problems, The Suns are the most consistent team of the playoffs. Even with the coronavirus and a shoulder injury, Paul is averaging 19.3 points per game this playoffs and is now a clear contender for Most Valuable Player of the Finals. Jae Crowder's role on defense has been difficult to overestimate and Deandre Ayton has improved significantly under the basket. Devin Booker with 27.2 points is Phoenix's best rebounding average and Cameron Johnson is hitting consistently from beyond the arc. Abdel Nader is back in action as the postseason progresses, but Dario Saric recently suffered a serious injury and is out for the rest of the league.
In the recent game against Milwaukee, Monty Williams' team made 20 of 40 three-pointers, a key factor in their success. Devin Booker led the way and made 7 of 12 shots from beyond the arc, with Paul, Bridges, and Crowder making 3 apiece. Eaton wasn't very noticeable in the game and only scored 10 points. Phoenix lost to their opponents in many areas: offensive rebounding, fast-break points, turnovers, turnovers, and steals stayed with Milwaukee. Paul, Bridges, and Booker combined for 81 points, while Devin was the Suns' highest scorer with 31 points.
Experts betting tips
A lot of factors came together for Phoenix's win last game. Giannis Antetokounmpo is in great shape right now, and the Suns don't quite know how to neutralize him. Saric's injury severely limits the visitors' options for the center, and it's still tough for Eaton to run 48 minutes a game. It's unlikely that Phoenix will hit 20 three-pointers again, but Milwaukee is capable of improving its shooting percentage from beyond the arc. What matters now is that either Holiday or Middleton join the offense, and the home team's chances will improve considerably. I suggest betting on the following outcomes:
- W1 for 1.52;
- TO (221.5) for 1.95;
- W1 + H(-1.5) for 1.571