Phoenix Suns: 3 Keys to Winning Game 6 and Staying Alive in NBA Finals

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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Phoenix Suns, Chris Paul
Phoenix Suns, Chris Paul (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Phoenix Suns Key to Victory in Game 6: Evaluate Chris Paul’s health and attack accordingly

After Paul’s pathetic Game 4 performance, many began to question his health. Paul, who is 36, has not been healthy for the majority of this year’s playoff run. After first hurting his shoulder, then testing positive for COVID-19, and now laboring with a sore wrist, Paul might not have much left in the tank at this point.

But while all of the above has indeed influenced Paul’s effectiveness this series, full-credit still goes out to Jrue Holiday. It is clear that Paul’s fatigue has only increased with Holiday pressing him. An uncharacteristic 3.6 turnovers per game is proof in the pudding.

If Paul is really injured, the Suns can wave goodbye to their championship aspirations. But a healthy Paul can bring home Games 6 and 7, especially if he can return to attacking Milwaukee’s mismatched defenders.

Brook Lopez currently averages 24.0 minutes per game for this NBA Finals series. For all of those minutes, Paul and the Suns must go at him. He essentially cannot defend any ball handler, so the Suns need to unleash Booker, Paul, and Cameron Payne on him as often as possible. The same goes for Bobby Portis.

The Suns need to make these bigs struggle, so that they receive help from their teammates, and consequently loosen up their defense. This will play into Phoenix’s greatest asset: ball movement.

For the rest of the night, specifically when Lopez and Portis are out, the Suns should also attack PJ Tucker. He is not a great defender, and just fouls at a high frequency.

Phoenix needs to make Tucker foul out, and consequently force an undesirable player to see the floor. Pat Connaughton is another Buck to attack. He is an okay defender, but that is all.

Antetokounmpo, on the other hand, is interesting to say the least. Obviously, the Greek Freak is one of the best defenders in the league, but I would not mind seeing a playmaker go at him. My reasoning for this is to eliminate Antetokoumnpo’s help defense, which is arguably Milwaukee’s best defensive asset. I could be terribly wrong, but maybe try it?

All in all though, I want Holiday switched off of anyone.