After an extremely hard-fought out Game 4 between the Phoenix Suns and the Milwaukee Bucks, the 2021 NBA Finals is now tied at two games apiece heading back to Phoenix.
Home court advantage has been huge in this series as each home team won back-to-back games on their respective courts. Both fan bases have made it extremely difficult for the road team to play at, and with the stakes even higher, I only anticipate the fans to get more riled up.
Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo were both huge for Milwaukee in the previous game. Middleton scored 40 points and was extremely clutch down the stretch, while Giannis nearly had a triple-double with 26 points, 14 rebounds, and 8 assists.
Not to mention that incredible block he had against DeAndre Ayton, which could easily go down as the best block in NBA history. These types of moments are ones that could eventually propel a team to a championship. Not saying the Bucks will win it all, but if they do, they will definitely look back at this moment as the play that started it all. After all, it was only a two-point game at the time with a little over a minute left in the game.
For the Suns in Game 4, Devin Booker was incredible as he poured in 42 points on an efficient 17-28 shooting. It could have been an even bigger night for Booker if he had not been in foul trouble. He kept Phoenix in the game all night long by making tough shot after tough shot.
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Point god Chris Paul, on the other hand, struggled immensely for the second game in a row as he totaled nine turnovers combined in Games 3 and 4. In Game 2, he turned the ball over another six times as well but ended up scoring 23 points and eight assists.
If Paul can get back to taking care of the ball and be aggressive on offense, I like the Suns in Game 5. If not, however, I would give the advantage to The Bucks.
CP3’s play is that important to his team. After all, the Suns were not even a playoff team before he arrived. Yes, Deandre Ayton and Devin Booker have elevated their games, but at the end of the day, Chris Paul’s leadership and play have made the biggest difference for Phoenix.
For the Bucks, they are going to have to carry all the momentum they have gained in the past few games on the road to Phoenix tomorrow night. Thus far, they have not played good basketball away from the Fiserv Forum, but if they are planning on winning this series, they must win at least one away from home in this now best of three series.
I am confident Giannis will be Giannis, but I am still not sure how Middleton and Jrue Holiday are going to perform. Middleton has come up huge in flashes in these playoffs but has also disappeared occasionally from game to game. Holiday has been struggling with his shot as of late but has been playing incredible defense against Chris Paul. They must play their best basketball if Milwaukee has a chance of stealing one.
With that being said, I like Phoenix heading into Game 5 mainly because they are at home, in the newly-christened Footprint Center. I think their fan base is going to give them a huge lift, and most of all, I expect Chris Paul to play much better than he has of late.