Phoenix Suns: 3 Most Important Matchups vs Milwaukee Bucks NBA Finals

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /
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Breaking through a cloudy NBA postseason, filled with injuries and unexpected twists, the Phoenix Suns keep charging forward, refusing to let their lights dim out. Neither a Chris Paul COVID-19 diagnosis, nor a broken nose for Devin Booker has managed to halt the team during their quest for a title, as the Suns continue to display all the resiliency and toughness required to make an NBA Finals appearance.

We find ourselves on this grandest stage now, with the Suns reaching the Finals for the first time since 1993. Emerging from the Eastern Conference come the Milwaukee Bucks, looking to cool down the Suns—a task that sounds almost impossible to accomplish by its basketball and astronomical definition.

During the regular season, Phoenix won both contests against the Bucks, but each one ended by a single point’s margin. The Suns hosted the first matchup during early February, but the visiting Bucks blasted them to start the game, finishing the first half up 71-59.

However, Phoenix chipped away as things progressed, eventually establishing a lead for themselves a few minutes into the fourth quarter. Milwaukee kept stride after that, but never regained the advantage. Giannis Antetokounmpo found himself with a good look to hit a game-winning shot at the buzzer, but misfired.

The Greek Freak finished with a whopping 47 points and 11 rebounds. Booker and Paul combined for 58 points, and Frank Kaminsky played surprisingly well, adding 14 points, eight rebounds, and a career-high eight assists.

Their following bout roughly two months later came as an equally entertaining sequel, even taking an extra period to decide. This one stayed close from start to finish, with neither team able to establish a double-digit lead.

Antetokounmpo played only a few seconds during the game’s overtime period, injuring himself while chasing down a loose ball. Khris Middleton kept the Bucks alive though contributing 26 points and five assists. But with the game tied as the clock ticked down once again, a questionable shooting foul awarded Booker some free throws with no time left to play. He sank his first one, ending the affair.

With their victories over Milwaukee this year literally coming as close as possible from a numerical standpoint, the Suns need to focus in now, clearly with little room to make any mistakes. This starts with each player simply doing their job—winning their matchup. For the Suns, these three ones seem the most crucial.