The Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks continue the 2021 NBA Finals on Wednesday, July 14, 2021, at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee.
Milwaukee stormed back in the series with the most definitive win of the Finals so far, a 20-point blowout of the Suns in Game 3. The win enabled the Bucks to cut the Suns’ lead to 2-1 with a chance to even the series in Game 4 which will be played at their home court.
The Suns fell back to earth in Game 3 as they were blown out of the Fiserv Forum by a Bucks team that was determined to get on the board in the Finals series. The Suns have not lost back-to-back games since dropping Games 2 and 3 against the Lakers in the opening round of the playoffs.
Phoenix and Deandre Ayton were off to a good start in Game 3 but Ayton didn’t have a field goal make in the final 33 minutes of the game after scoring in 16 up to the nine-minute mark in the second quarter. The former no. 1 pick got into foul trouble throughout the game which limited his appearance and production.
Also, Devin Booker had an off night with only 10 points on 3-14 shooting including 1-7 from deep while playing in just 29 minutes. Mikal Bridges, who scored a playoff career-high 27 points in Game 2 took only four shots and scored only four points while taking just four shots during the game.
Chris Paul is averaging 24.7 points and 8.7 assists per game in the Finals while Devin Booker averaged 29 points per game during the first two games of the series. Deandre Ayton meanwhile is putting up a double-double at 16.7 points and 13.0 rebounds per game in the series.
The Milwaukee Bucks have stormed right back in the Finals. After looking lost in trying to beat the Suns in the first two games of the series, Bucks finally used their size advantage to pound away on the undermanned and undersized Sunds who are without Dario Saric due to an ACL injury.
With only Deandre Ayton as the Suns’ legit big man, Milwaukee outrebounded Phoenix by 11 boards, including 7 on the offensive glass. They also outscored the Suns by 14 points in points in the paint. The Bucks also forced the issue, causing Ayton to get into foul trouble. Milwaukee ended up taking 11 more free throws than Phoenix and hitting nine more than the Suns from the line.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is the first player to score 80+ points, grab 25+ rebounds, and issue 10+ assists in his first two finals appearances. Antetokounmpo scored 41 in Game 3 after pouring in 40 in Game 2. The Greek Freak went to the foul line 17 times and missed only three.
Jrue Holiday also bounced back after a poor start to the Finals by scoring 21 points on 8-14 shooting including 5-10 from deep. Milwaukee also got a big lift from Bobby Portis who scored 11 points in 18 minutes of the bench. Pat Connaughton also made two three-pointers during Milwaukee’s big third quarter run which blew the game wide open.
The Suns are 13-3 SU in their last 16 games played. Phoenix is 3-2 in their last five games played on the road. The Bucks are 13-7 SU in their last 20 games played. Milwaukee is 16-1 SU in their last 17 games played at home.
The Suns have won five out of their last six games against the Bucks. However, Milwaukee is 5-2 SU in their last seven home games played against Phoenix.
Monty Williams talked about the disparity in free throw attempts in Game 1 as the Suns only took 16 as a team while Giannis Antetokounmpo had 17 tries on his own. But while conspiracy theorists point to referee Scott Foster and his relationship with Chris Paul, it had nothing to do with that.
The Bucks simply used their size advantage over the Suns and Antetokounmpo was taking the ball strong to the basket throughout the game to get Ayton in foul trouble. He succeeded and the much smaller Suns.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is having the best two-game Finals stretch ever and since he doesn’t rely on outside shots, it’s hard to say he’s going to struggle with his shots because most of his shots in this series have been from point-blank range.
Unless Torrey Craig gets 100% healthy and grows a couple of inches, the Bucks have a significant size advantage against the Suns because of Saric’s absence. Ayton should have another good game but if he gets in foul trouble again, it’s going to be a problem for the Suns.
Another big game from Giannis lets the Bucks tie the series at 2-2.
Prediction: Milwaukee Bucks -183
Phoenix is 12-4 ATS in their last 16 games played. The Suns are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games played on the road, 20-6 ATS in their last 26 games played after an ATS loss, 6-2 ATS in their last eight road games against an opponent with a winning home record, 20-7 ATS in their last 27 games after an SU loss, and 46-18-1 ATS in their last 65 games against an opponent with a winning SU record.
Milwaukee is 4-1 ATS in their last five games played. The Bucks are 5-1 ATS in their last six home games, 4-1 ATS in their last five home games as betting favorites, 9-2 ATS in their last 11 home games played against an opponent with a winning road record, and 4-2 ATS in their last six July games.
Head to head, the Suns have covered five out of their last six meetings against the Bucks. Phoenix is also 5-2-1 ATS in the last eight meetings in Milwaukee
It’s tough to bet against the Suns who are a covering machine this season. Phoenix is 55-35-1 ATS in 91 games played this season and they are also 32-21 ATS in their last 53 games when listed as underdogs of 3.5 points or more.
However, Milwaukee is playing at home where they are 3-1 ATS in their last four games. The absence of Dario Saric was heavily felt in Game 3 with Giannis looking unstoppable as Ayton got into foul trouble. If Monty Williams can’t speed up the game or if they continue to shoot poorly from deep, Milwaukee is going to pound their way to victory again. I’ll buck the trends and go with the Bucks’ who will continue to use their size against the Suns.
Prediction: Milwaukee Bucks -4.5
The total has gone over in four out of the last five games played by the Suns. The over is 7-1 in their last eight games against the Eastern Conference. The over is 4-0-1 in their last five games against an opponent with a winning percentage of at least .600, 6-0-1 in their last seven games against an opponent with a winning SU record, and 9-2 in their last 11 Wednesday games.
The total has gone over in four out of the last five games played by Milwaukee. The over is also 4-1 in their last five Wednesday games, 4-1-1 in their last six home games against an opponent with a winning road percentage of at least .600, 16-4-2 in their last 22 games against an opponent with a winning SU record, and 6-2-2 in their last 10 games as betting favorites.
The total has gone over in six out of the last seven meetings between these two teams. Interestingly, the under is 5-2-1 in the last eight meetings in Milwaukee.
These teams have hit over 220 points during the first two games of the series and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t in this game. Seven out of Milwaukee’s last 10 games have seen a total of at least 220 points while six out of the Suns’ last 10 games have breached that mark as well.
The total was 220 in Game 1 when Giannis scored only 20 in his first game back from injury while the total was 220.5 in Game 3 when Booker struggled to shoot from the floor and scored just 10 points. I expect both stars to come up big in a crucial Game 4 so I think this will be a high-scoring game.
Prediction: Over 220.5
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.