NBA Finals Preview: Suns look to continue; Bucks eye a start Photograph:( Others )
If Bucks take one on the road, they will go to Fiserv Forum with a home-court advantage. But losing Game 1 is not a situation Bucks haven’t been in. They lost Game 1 of their last two series against the Brooklyn Nets and the Atlanta Hawks as well.
Chris Paul made his debut in the NBA Finals with Phoenix Suns, Giannis Antetokounmpo returned to the Milwaukee Bucks line-up, but the series that is rewriting history with every game has just started with Suns taking a 1-0 lead. Game 2 of the NBA Finals will definitely set the tone.
If the Suns make it two at home, the Bucks will have their backs against the wall at home in Game 3. If Bucks take one on the road, they will go to Fiserv Forum with a home-court advantage. But losing Game 1 is not a situation Bucks haven’t been in. They lost Game 1 of their last two series against the Brooklyn Nets and the Atlanta Hawks as well.
For Bucks, the return of Antetokounmpo didn’t bring in the desired result but the Greek star was on the floor for over 35 minutes doing everything he could, including a highlight-worthy block on Mikal Bridges. “Going to Game 2, hopefully I can feel more comfortable, more confident to go downhill, to make more plays,” Antetokounmpo said.
Paul, who starred in Game 1 with 32 points and nine assists, knows the Bucks will come back with a better game plan but said the Suns are prepared for everything that comes their way. “If they going to trap, they trap. They switch, they switch. But whatever it may be, all season long we have adjusted and prepared for whatever a team has thrown us,” said the 16-season veteran.
But both sides have time and again proved that they are a team more than an alpha-led outfit. “We have a real team, Paul said. “Like a team where you can’t just key on one guy or two guys.” Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton both have formed the trident with Paul that Suns have got their opponents on the back foot with. Booker added 27 points and six assists, and Ayton finished with 22 points and 19 rebounds in Game 1.
The Bucks too have players that have made themselves count when it mattered leading to the summit clash. Jrue Holiday is one of the best defensive guards and will put behind his 10-point performance in Game 1. Khris Middleton will also be expected to come out stronger if the Bucks hope to make a series out of this.
“We’ve got to be better defensively. We’ve got to keep them off the free throw line and we got to be more aggressive attacking and getting to the free throw line and getting to good offense,” said Mike Budenholzer admitting that it was frustrating to see Suns hitting a remarkable 25-for-26 from the free-throw line in Game 1.