Tonight, is arguably the biggest game in the history of the Milwaukee Bucks franchise, certainly since they last won an NBA Championship back in 1971.
Leading 3-2 in the NBA Finals over the Phoenix Suns, their last gasp victory in Game 5 in Arizona has given the Bucks an opportunity to clinch the Championship at the Fiserv Forum tonight in front of their fervent support.
It’s been an incredible journey for this Bucks team, who have shown plenty of resolve throughout the playoffs to come back from deficits in series repeatedly to progress and after three wins in a row against the Suns, they are the -195 favourites with BetRivers Sportsbook on the moneyline.
In contrast the Suns are +160 chances on that same market.
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The Team Is Greater Than The Individual
This series has perhaps been a great indicator of the maxim that the team is greater than any individual, even when that individual is as supremely talented as Devin Booker or Giannis Antetokounmpo.
In Game 2, Giannis put up 42 points and 12 rebounds for the Bucks, but was on the losing end against a Suns team that were being led by Chris Paul and with Devin Booker in great form.
However, in Games 4 and 5 of the series, it was Booker’s turn to be on the wrong end of things as despite going for 40 points or more in both of those games, it was the Bucks that came out on top in two closely fought contests, thanks to the likes of Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton having a greater influence on the team.
Game 6 takes place tonight and it should be a cracker, so what do both teams need to do in order to land the win?
Can The Suns Shine To Halt The Bucks Charge?
Having lost the last three games in the series, it is clearly evident that the Suns need to get Chris Paul back at his best. Paul was so influential in the two opening wins for the Suns and as the Bucks have taken hold of the series, his influence has declined somewhat.
Deandre Ayton will also need to step up defensively to help try and contain Giannis, although to be fair to the young center, the Bucks played very well in Game 6 without him with Holiday and Middleton stepping up to the plate.
The Suns team ethic and work rate, allied to their talent, have brought them to the NBA Finals and it will be those qualities that will need to be in evidence tonight if they are to take this series to a Game 7.
Is Giannis The Key To The Bucks Victory?
It is tempting to think that the Greek Freak is going to be the dominant player in tonight’s game and if he is, then the Bucks chances of success are markedly increased. However, as we have noted above, without the support of his teammates, even Giannis’ superhuman efforts may not be enough.
In truth, this Bucks team is better when Giannis has his teammates firing on all cylinders and if Khris Middleton can score points and Jrue Holiday can add points to his solid defensive play, then the Bucks chances of winning on their home court skyrocket.
That is what happened in Game 5 which saw the Bucks clinch the first road victory in the NBA Finals and that may well prove decisive, especially if they can repeat that level of performance here.
Who Wins Tonight’s Game?
I know the Bucks are the favourites with the sportsbooks and it is hard to go against them at home to be honest. They have an excellent record in Milwaukee and at the moment, seem to have the measure of the Suns, especially in crucial moments.
I always felt that the team that won the first game on the road in this series would end up as the winners and as such, that is why I think the Bucks do clinch the NBA Championship tonight.