Phoenix Suns: 3 Adjustments to Make for NBA Finals Game 4

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /
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Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Phoenix Suns Game 4 Adjustment: Defense

There is never going to be a good solution to the 6’11, two-time MVP that is Giannis Antetokounmpo. The best minds in basketball have tried and failed while looking for one, so I cannot say I have an answer myself. However, there are some ways that the players around him can be defended to improve Phoenix winning chances.

The first one deals with Khris Middleton, who if you look at the box score, only had 18 points on 14 shots, something that you can live if you are the Suns. The problem is that he was the connecter for much of everything else Milwaukee did.

When Middleton had the ball, there were several times where Phoenix would send two players at him once a screen had been set, giving him an easy pass to set up Giannis and the Bucks with a one-man advantage. With Middleton initiating offense, he may not always make the final pass to give him an assist, but he makes the first pass which is often the hardest.

The Suns have a player in Bridges, who should be tailor made to guard someone like Middleton, much like he did in the first two games of the series. In Game 1 Middleton took 26 shots, and actually knocked down a higher percentage of them than he did in Game 3.

The difference is that the decisions he made to get those shots were harder in Game 1 because any potential passes at that time were not so easy to make. It left him with nothing to do but shoot the ball 26 times, and turn it over on five occasions. It was also the game in which Giannis shot the lowest number of field goals and free throws in the series.

Phoenix Suns NBA Finals Player Grades After First Two Games. dark. Next

No longer doubling Middleton and just sticking Bridges on him should help keep the ball away from Giannis in the paint with mismatches, or at least slow him down. If that is coupled with a little less shotmaking from the likes of Jrue Holiday, than the Suns could have a defensive outcome similar to that of games one and two.