The Suns take on the Bucks for the ultimate title in the NBA, wrapping up a season and playoff games filled with injuries and surprises.
Who will succeed the Lakers? A question that will find its answer in the next two weeks, at the end of the NBA Finals between Phoenix and Milwaukee. First game the following night in Arizona (3 a.m.). Two franchises have had very different courses in recent years, but they have one thing in common: None of the players who make up their workforce have been champions yet. Furthermore, the Suns have never been sacred in their history, they have only played two finals, in 1976 and 1993. The Bucks, of them, haven’t climbed at this point in the competition since… 1974, three years after their first final and their only title in 1971. For the third year in a row, the NBA season finale will also result in a new poster.
“CP3” as an older brother, but not only
Phoenix is the surprise guest at this final, at the end of a season whose trajectory has been largely turned upside down by injuries, Covid-19 and thus the unexpected setting as standard. Not that Monty Williams’ men, second place in the regular season (51 against 21 days), stole their place. But the two clubs in Los Angeles, Lakers, Clippers, Utah or Denver were in a better position to break out of the West. And that’s even if Devin Booker, DeAndre Ayton and his cohorts impress them last summer, in the bubble, before facing off against veteran Chris Paul over vacation. Veteran, but still effective. His influence on his young colleagues is undeniable. But at the age of 36, CB3 didn’t put his baggage out in the desert just to play big brother. Still at the top. We saw him in the last game against Clips, 41 points, 0 loss of the ball.
And here he is in the final for the first time in his career, under the orders of a coach he knew in New Orleans. It is certain that the President of the Players Association injured his right hand and injured ligaments But he counted on him to do his best in the final. He knows very well, better than anyone, that the train will never pass again.
In any case, no one is reaching 100% of their physical potential at this point in the season. Especially Suns opponents…the Phoenix has already benefited from the glitches that LeBron James, Anthony Davis (Lakers), Jamal Murray (Denver) and Kawhi Leonard (Clippers) faced in the playoffs. And now it is Giannis Antetokounmue who takes the lead against former Charles Barkley with a loose knee. “Greek Freak” has suffered from overextension since Game 4 of the Eastern Finals against Atlanta. We haven’t seen him on stage since. And his club raises suspense about his return to competition. At the moment, it is impossible to know if the Greek star will play next night, or even in the series.
Mission Impossible Without “Greek Freak”?
Mike Budenholzer clearly has a whole squad. If the Suns return to the front of the stage after long years of rarity, and no playoffs since 2010, the Bucks have been cut for top honors for several years, with Khris Middleton as lieutenant, Jrue Holiday as third thief, and a quality “supporting cast.” Although this year was probably the least expected. We also find the Frenchman in the roster of this team, Axel Tuban. But often a former resident of Strasbourg is entitled to only crumbs. With that, Milwaukee slipped without Giannis against Atlanta. This time around, the return of “Greek Freak” seems vital to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s previous franchise. And also for the NBA, which could see its audience plummet if the Phoenix takes place against the Bucks deprived of their best player. Already we have nothing to do with the two largest markets in the country… One thing is for sure: This new and unexpected poster is breathing fresh air in the NBA. Make way for the game.