I’m thinking NBA Finals with the fellas.
It’s been 28 years.
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) July 1, 2021
For some franchises, that may not seem like a long time, for the spoiled bunches that sounds like a long time. The Suns have gone through a ton of heartbreak throughout this journey. No matter how you cut it, the drought is over in the desert.
Chris Paul had a performance for the ages, putting up 41 points, 8 assists, and ZERO turnovers to close out his former team in his former building.
41 PTS | 16/24 FGM | 7 3PM | 8 AST pic.twitter.com/OiGaa0NGN2
— NBA (@NBA) July 1, 2021
We all feel incredibly happy for Chris Paul given what he’s gone through in his career to get to this point, but that feeling amplifies when talking about Devin Booker’s journey here in Phoenix. Most players in his situation would not be as… patient.
They broke the Clippers. LA was a resilient bunch that seemingly wouldn’t ever go away, but they finally put the finishing touches on them. Patrick Beverley did typical Pat Bev things by shoving Paul with his back turned.
Patrick Beverley has been ejected for this push on Chris Paul pic.twitter.com/1XdeirFsv8
— Top Ball Coverage (@TopBallCoverage) July 1, 2021
“I just kept thinking, if we do what we’re supposed to do, I get the last laugh,” Paul said afterward. “So you stay the course long enough, you break ’em, and that’s what we did.”
It’s been a long time coming. From the second-worst record in the NBA two seasons ago to this.
I was able to attend the Rally at the Airport last night and it was quite the turnout from Suns fans. The streets were filled with 20k+ rowdy fans supporting their guys.
PHOENIX IS A BASKETBALL CITY.
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) July 1, 2021
Make no mistake about it, this team isn’t done yet. The job’s not done. 4 more wins. The team knows to let this moment marinate for the next 24-48 hours, soak it all in… it’s not easy to get here.
The Phoenix Suns will face the Milwaukee Bucks, a team that has adequate depth, a menacing defense, and some hard-nosed competitors.
Things To Watch
Giannis injury update:
Giannis’s health is a humungous storyline that could make or break the Bucks’ title aspirations. Head coach Mike Budenholzer said they’re taking it day by day.
“I mean, [Giannis] and the sports performance team, they have been together a long time. It’s special to watch their relationship. It’s special to watch the communication, the trust that he has. You have to listen to the player and then you have to listen to the sports performance group, and at some point Jon Horst and myself are part of the conversations, but it’s just a day-to-day thing. We’ll update it when appropriate. The conversations between he and myself and he and the sports performance group, it’s kind of private and we’ll see where he is each day.
Who guards Booker?
Jrue Holiday is likely going to be on Chris Paul throughout the series, so I believe it’ll be a heavy dosage of Khris Middleton and PJ Tucker assigned to guard Booker. The Suns’ backcourt needs to feast on the Brook Lopez drog coverage and target some of their weak links defensively such as Bryn Forbes, Pat Connaughton, and Jeff Teague on switches.
Milwaukee’s defense is good, but I think Booker will be able to get his a hell of a lot easier than he did against Pat Bev and the Clippers.
Battle of the bigs
Milwaukee’s frontcourt rotation of Brook Lopez, Bobby Portis, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and PJ Tucker is a formidable one that could pose problems in the non-Ayton minutes. Dario Saric will likely be Monty’s go-to reserve big in those moments, so let’s hope he rises to the occasion and we get “good Dario”.
Small-ball likely favors the Suns if Milwaukee goes that route with their duo of big wings in Crowder, and Craig plus Deandre Ayton’s mobility.
I believe this will be the Suns’ toughest test yet (assuming Giannis plays) but they should be up for the challenge and gut out some tough wins as they’ve done all season long. It’s time for the revenge of the coin toss.
Suns in 6.
- G1: PHX
- G2: PHX
- G3: MIL
- G4: PHX
- G5: MIL
- G6: PHX