We finally made it. After an NBA postseason rife with attrition via injuries to star players, we have our final two teams. Some will argue they are not the best, but that conversation is for the low-hanging fruit pickers on Twitter. Here, we only care about the series -- and we have a good one on our hands.
When these two teams met in the regular season, they played two highly competitive and fun contests, both of which resulted in victories for the Phoenix Suns. Things have changed since those games, but the schemes and matchups remain the same, so let’s dive in and find out who will be our 2020-2021 NBA Champion.
Phoenix Suns (-200) vs. Milwaukee Bucks (+ 165)
Milwaukee’s Offense / Phoenix’s Defense
In the regular season, the Bucks operated much differently when Antetokounmpo was off the floor, but in the final two games of the Eastern Conference Finals they looked very similar to the version that had the two-time MVP in action. Milwaukee would become a jump-shooting team in the minutes without Antetokounmpo, taking just 29% of its attempt within four feet of the basket while shooting 59.5% from that area of the floor. However, in Games 5 and 6 they dominated the painted area against Atlanta, taking 49 attempts within four feet and shooting 77.5% on those shots. The frequency of attempts did not get much better, in fact it dropped to 26.8% in those contests, but the difference was the shooting percentage, which was just 59.5% in the regular season without Giannis. If the Bucks can keep up that rate of shooting at the rim and in the restricted area this offense, which averaged 1.23 points per possession over the final two games of the series against the Hawks, will be able to have success against Phoenix inside.