There’s no way to say this without spoiling the outcome, so here it goes. The Phoenix Suns are not going to be the NBA Champions this year. The Milwaukee Bucks stopped them in their tracks last night, taking Game 6 and a clean sweep after getting off to a slow start. It is the second championship for the Bucks in 50 years, even as they came close two years ago against the Toronto Raptors.
NBA Season Comes to an End
The NBA season is over now that the Bucks have captured the title in a definitive Game 6 last night. Milwaukee was heavily favored to win, especially playing on their own court, and made sure not to let bookmakers down. It was obvious that the Bucks were going to have to play tight on both offense and defense if they were to secure the win, and that’s exactly what they did from the first tip-off.
Giannis Antetokounmpo was able to kick things up a notch in the game, scoring 50 points and leading a decisive offense that wasn’t going to give the Suns any room. In this series, he had three games with at least 40 points and ten rebound, going 17 of 19 last night on free throws and shooting 16 for 25 from the field. With that, and with the Suns’ Chris Paul not living up to expectations, the Greek Freak was crowned this years NBA Finals MVP.
The Suns Try Hard, But Fail
The Bucks controlled the first quarter, but the Suns rallied in the second. They came back with a vengeance, scoring 31 points to the 13 Milwaukee was able to muster. That was enough to give Phoenix the advantage going into the break, but the Bucks came out in the third like a brand-new team. They recovered all of the lost ground and, by the start of the fourth quarter, the two teams were locked in a fierce battle at 77 each.
Antetokounmpo scored 33 of his 50 points in the second half, making sure the Suns were always trying to fight for position. Phoenix tried, clumsily, to stay alive, but their attempts were futile. With five minutes left on the clock they were down six, which they then cut to four immediately after. If the Suns thought they were back on track, the Bucks had different plans. Milwaukee took control from there and never gave it up. Not Paul, not Devin Booker, not Jae Crowder – no Suns player could find a hole to exploit. When the dust settled, the Bucks had captured the win with a 105-98 victory. That was enough to cover the spread, but was well short of the 222 Over/Under that had been set for the game.
Time to Prepare for Next Year
Winners don’t sulk, even when they lose. They start to prepare for the next big event, which, in this case, is the upcoming 2021-22 NBA season. Deandre Ayton is already focused on lifting the team up and told Booker after the game, “This is just the beginning.” He added in comments to reporters, “Now we know what we need to do and no less. We’re going to keep each other accountable for the rest of our careers together.” Ayton is 22 years old; Booker is 24. There’s a lot of life left in this team.
The Greek Freak was humble as he was handed the Bill Russel Finals MVP trophy. He only offered, “I want to thank Milwaukee for believing in me. I wanted to do it here in this city. I wanted to do it with these guys.” With that, and 50 years after Kareem Abdul-Jabbar led the Bucks to their first NBA championship, Antetokounmpo is now in the history books.