History in the Making! Will it happen today?

Have you been watching the NBA 2020-21 Championship between Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns, like I have? What a ball it has been!

Game 6 will be played today, at 9:00 P.M. EST in ABC. That’s in approximately three hours. It is the game NBA Analyst, Steve Aschburner, has tagged Desperation versus Discipline. I cannot agree more.

Desperation or Discipline?

Both Teams are indeed desperate to win today for obvious reasons. For Suns, it’s win or go home. The desperation is hardest on them such that some Phoenix lawyer(s) will pay for a billboard to be mounted in Milwaukee! Read about it here. Whether to support the Suns or troll the Bucks, it seems an act of desperation. The law firm should have used the money to fly all its staff and family members to Fiserv Forum to cheer Phoenix Sun if it really wanted to support. Well …

For Bucks, it’s win, clinch the Larry O’Brien Cup, or return to Phoenix for another grueling game.

Also, both Teams haven’t won a Finals in at least fifty (50) years.

Both Teams also have to indeed exercise discipline; a much better one than they had done and particularly did for Game 5 in order to mitigate the foul calls and avoid technicals and injuries.

Whether it is desperation or discipline, I hope it’s all clean, good, and fun game with no fatal injuries.

Background and Series thus far

As you may or may not know, NBA Playoffs and Championships are a series of seven games. The Season’s Championship began on Tuesday, July 6th at the home court of Phoenix Suns (PS). The Series started with Games 1 and 2 at Phoenix, Games 3 and 4 in Milwaukee, Game 5 – Phoenix, Game 6 – Milwaukee (today), and Game 7, if necessary, back in Phoenix.

As expected, PS clinched the first two games of the Series utilizing home court and fan base to their advantage, setting everyone, viewers and analysts, wondering what was going on with the Bucks, and thus putting Team Giannis in the hole 2-0! Phoenix’s fan base loudly roasted (or booed) Giannis Antetokounmpo (GA) non-stop at the free-throw line – a mental torture, in my opinion.

However, at Buck’s homecourt, GA appeared to get mentally tougher, better, and of course, fewer or non-existence of the Phoenix fans helped eased his composure at the free throw line. With some superb leadership caliber plays, Bucks won the next two games; also utilizing the fan base-home court to its advantage.

Though Game 5 was at PS’s, Bucks clinched the game; now leading series by 3-2. Spectacular was the steal by Jrue Holiday (JH) (from Sun’s Devin Booker) at the last few minutes, GA’s dunk, and Khris Middleton’s back-to-back three-pointers, including free-throws from fouls all helped put Bucks in the lead and cemented the win.

All games featured superb 40+ points each by three players; Devin Booker (PS), GA, and Khris Middleton (KM); thus making the Finals MVP a hard choice. Also notable were stunning steals in the last two games, including blocks and dunks throughout.

The Desperation continues

The Phoenix Suns franchise, established in 1968, has never won an NBA Championship. Per Jason Schandl, “the last time they even made the NBA finals was the 1992-93 season, when Charles Barkley and company lost to Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls. Their only other championship appearances came in the 1975-76 season.”

Bucks’ slogan is “History in the Making.” It’s the first time the team reached the Finals in fifty (50) years.

“The last time the Bucks were in The Finals, legends Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson were their stars. Current coach Mike Budenholzer was only four years old. Some of the 2021 players’ parents weren’t even born yet.”

Steve Aschburner

“Only four teams have ever bounced back from a 2-0 series deficit in the NBA Finals. Can the 2021 Milwaukee Bucks team become the fifth?” – Yash Mantange

The four teams, he wrote, were:

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016
  2. Miami Heat in 2006
  3. Portland Trail Blazers in 1977, and
  4. Boston Celtics in 1969.

I believe Mantange made the above statement simply because Milwaukee Bucks is closer to clinching the Series’ win than Phoenix Suns. But, it will be interesting to see the outcome tonight. Yours truly will definitely be watching, cheering, and taking notes. [smile]. I hope you will be too.

Know the key players and coaches leading their Teams to the NBA Finals

Today is the first of the BIG Game basketball lovers have been waiting for. The 2020-21 NBA Finals between Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns is led by Giannis Antetokounmpo and Chris Paul respectively. Seven more games to excite fans, if it gets to the wires. We don’t know if Giannis Antetokounmpo will return today or not. (this was the paragraph I wrote earlier and chose to keep it …)

Well, Game 1 has been played and the Suns won. The win though is not enough to use as a predictor of the Series. We know the Suns ended their Western Conference Final (WCF) two days earlier than the Bucks. We can deduce that Bucks is still fatigued from the travel and jubilation of their Eastern Conference Final (ECF). And though Giannis played, it will be unfair to expect a top shape body and game from him having missed almost three games. It was obvious, in my opinion though that Khris Middleton was fatigued. Understandably so having carried Bucks on his back the last two games and to the ECF. Here’s hoping that Bucks bounces back soon from the exhaustion.

I thought to blog on the key players and their coaches. I found some articles, Ten things to know about the player, from NBA.com, to share. Click on each name to find out more.

  1. Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo
  2. Bucks’ Khris Middleton
  3. Phoenix’s Chris Paul
  4. Phoenix’s Devin Booker

The Coaches

Mike Budenholzer is the current Bucks head coach, since 2018. The team was formed in 1968, and there have been 15 head coaches for the Bucks franchise. The franchise won its only NBA championship in the 1971 NBA Finals under the leadership of its first coach, Larry Costello.
Don Nelson was the head coach for the Milwaukee Bucks from 1976–1987. Terry Porter was the head coach of the Bucks for two seasons. Jason Kidd served as the Bucks head coach from 2014–2018.

Founded in 1968, the Suns are chronologically the second-oldest team in the Western Conference. The Suns are also chronologically the third-oldest team in the NBA to have never won an NBA Championship while having played in the NBA Finals at least once

Former Pelicans coach Monty Williams was hired to coach the team on May 3, 2019. The Phoenix Suns franchise has had 20 head coaches. John MacLeod is the franchise’s all-time leader in coaching years and games won, winning the most regular-season and playoff games. Cotton Fitzsimmons, Mike D’Antoni and Monty Williams are the only coaches to have won the NBA Coach of the Year Award with the Suns. The Suns never have been coached by a Basketball Hall of Fame inductee.

Now you know why the Finals game is important to both teams. Who would win the Championship? We’ll keep watching and I hope you’ll watch along.

References:

  • NBA.com
  • Wikipedia.org
  • Factsnippet.org