- Opening game of 2021 NBA Finals
- Giannis Antetokounmpo doubtful for Bucks
- Suns a 6-point favorite for Game 1
At long last, the NBA Finals have arrived, pitting the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns against one another for NBA supremacy. Phoenix hosts Game 1, as they will look to take advantage of a key injury on the Bucks side. Milwaukee, meanwhile, will look to overcome that adversity and steal home-court advantage.
Bucks vs Suns Schedule
- Where: Phoenix Suns Arena, Phoenix, AZ
- When: Tuesday, July 6, 9:00 PM ET
- How to Watch: ABC
Bucks vs Suns Vegas Odds
Bucks vs Suns Preview
Bucks Likely to Miss Giannis
The Milwaukee Bucks are expected to be without their two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo for Game 1 of this series, as he is considered doubtful for the contest. Giannis will be missed against the Suns, who he averaged 40 points per game against during their two clashes this season. He was someone that the Suns just didn’t have a defender to match up against, and the Bucks could struggle to get off and running without the Greek Freak.
If Giannis is indeed absent for Game 1, that will force some members of the Bucks’ bench to step up. Bobby Portis started in his place in the final game of the Eastern Conference Finals and was impactful despite not being anywhere near as good as Giannis. The question for Milwaukee will be how much their bench can give them if Portis is once again forced into a starting role.
Suns Playing the Role of Favorite
After waiting 18 years since their last NBA Finals appearance, the Phoenix Suns enter this Finals as the firm favorite. Part of that has to do with the injury situation surrounding Giannis, while some of that designation is simply based on the fact that they have been the best team in the postseason thus far. Thanks to their superior depth, the Suns have beaten teams with their starters and their bench, which could pose a problem for the shorthanded Bucks.
The key for the Suns in this game will be how they defend the interior while still matching up with Brook Lopez. DeAndre Ayton, if he guards Lopez, would be pulled out of the paint and open up driving lanes for the smaller players of Milwaukee. Otherwise, the Suns will have to figure out another way to guard Lopez while still protecting the paint.
Bucks vs Suns Prediction & Pick
Who will win tonight’s NBA game:
This line feels entirely too short, given that Giannis Antetokounmpo is not likely to play for the Bucks. Without him, the Suns are able to match up with the rest of the Bucks without too many issues, while the bench of Phoenix will be able to take over at the beginning of the second and fourth quarters. Expect the Suns to get out in front early behind the energy of their home crowd en route to a convincing victory to open the Finals.
- Suns -6 over Bucks