After the thrill and excitement of the NBA postseason, the NBA Finals are finally here.
The Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks are set to battle it out in this year’s edition for a chance to hoist the famous Larry O’Brien NBA Championship Trophy.
Both of these franchises are in relatively unfamiliar territory. The Bucks last went to the finals in 1974, which they won, and the Suns’ last trip to the finals was back in 1993 when they lost to Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls.
16-year NBA veteran point guard Chris Paul will be making his finals debut as he leads a young Phoenix team playing with hunger and determination. Coached by the brilliant Monty Williams, the Suns have been playing entertaining basketball throughout these playoffs. They defeated the defending champions, LA Lakers, in the first round, swept league MVP Nikola Jokic’s Denver Nuggets in the next round and then held off the LA Clippers in the conference finals to win in six games.
In Devin Booker, the Suns have one of the most lethal scorers in the NBA who is averaging 27.0 points per game in the playoffs. They also have former number one draft pick Deandre Ayton who hit a game winning dunk in game 2 of the western conference finals. Players like Jae Crowder, Cameron Payne have all shown they can have a monster game or two to propel this team to a win. The Milwaukee Bucks will have their work cut out for them if they are to knock off Devin Booker and Co.
Chris Paul will go down as one of the best point guards of all time, but finally capturing the title that has eluded him for so long would cement his legacy.
In the 2018-19 and 2019-20 NBA seasons, the Bucks had the best record in the NBA and made it to the conference finals in 2019. However, they were unable to get the better of Kawhi Leonard’s Toronto Raptors, who were eventual winners.
Mike Budenholzer’s squad has been pretty impressive this playoffs. They swept last year’s finalists, Miami Heat, in the first round and overcame title favorites, Brooklyn Nets, in the conference semis. After losing their star player in game 4 of the conference finals, they rallied and beat the Hawks in six games.
With Giannis facing a race against time to be fit for the finals, star teammates Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday will have to step up big time for them to achieve their goal of winning the chip. They also boast their own veteran presence in forward PJ Tucker and center Brook Lopez who are capable of having a huge impact in games. Fan favorite Bobby Portis is also playing some of the best basketball of his career at the moment.
Two time league MVP and defensive player of the year, Giannis Antetokounmpo will have a chance to prove that he is capable of leading a team to a championship. That is if he’s able to play after hyperextending his knee in the Eastern Conference finals.
No player from either of these two rosters has won an NBA championship.
Torrey Craig of the Suns will get a championship ring no matter who wins the series because he also played for the Bucks earlier in the season.
As basketball fans, we are in for a treat when these two top teams clash for the bragging rights of being the best basketball team. On one side is a veteran who aims to finally get his hands on the trophy he has been chasing throughout his career and on the other is a dominant player who is staking claim to the throne and announce that he belongs at the top.