- The Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns play Game 6 of the 2021 NBA Finals on Tuesday July, 20th
- Milwaukee is one win away from their first title in half a century
- Read below for the latest Game 6 odds, injury news and more
The Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns matchup for Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday July, 20th. Milwaukee became the first team in the series to win on the road in Game 5. They are now just one win away from the NBA title and have won three games in a row since starting in an 0-2 hole.
Priced as five-point underdogs, the Suns have their work cut out to force a Game 7. They own a 6-4 record on the road in this postseason, but they were beaten by 26 points across the two losses at Fiserv Forum in Games 3 and 4.
Bucks vs Suns Game 6 Odds
|Phoenix Suns||+5 (-110)||+176||Over 222 (-110)|
|Milwaukee Bucks||-5 (-110)||-210||Under 222 (-110)|
Odds as of July 19th at FanDuel
Little has changed on the injury report of late. As has been the case for several weeks, the Bucks are without Donte DiVincenzo (foot), who underwent surgery in early-June. Thanasis Antetokounmpo (health and safety protocols) is out, too.
Phoenix is only missing one player, but it’s a significant absence. Dario Saric tore his ACL in Game 1 of this series. Having been an above-average backup center throughout the year, Saric’s injury has hit the Suns hard. It has forced Monty Williams into ultra-small lineups in the non-Deandre Ayton minutes, and contributed to Ayton playing 45 minutes in Game 5.
Both coaches have shortened their rotations drastically. Each used just eight players in the last game, with only seven on each team reaching double figures in minutes. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton, Ayton, Devin Booker and Jae Crowder all logged over 40 minutes.
Bucks vs Suns Projected Lineups
|Jrue Holiday||PG||Chris Paul|
|Khris Middleton||SG||Devin Booker|
|Giannis Antetokounmpo||SF||Mikal Bridges|
|P.J. Tucker||PF||Jae Crowder|
|Brook Lopez||C||Deandre Ayton|
Lights Out Shooting
Game 5 was about obscene shooting from both teams. Milwaukee was 14-for-28 from three. Phoenix was 13-for-19. It was a high-scoring encounter as a result, despite the pace languishing below 92. Such performance is unsustainable for both offenses as the series heads back to Milwaukee.
Given how the Bucks have shot the ball at times in these playoffs, though, a game like this was due. Jrue Holiday broke out of an ugly shooting slump to score 27 on 20 shots, and Pat Connaughton and Bobby Portis went six-for-10 from downtown.
Tight battle, but Suns come back on top for the quality of possession battle.
Suns win the game 58% of the time based on historic ShotQuality data.
Luck description and reasoning below 👇 pic.twitter.com/h2zcuVGgw5
— ShotQuality (@Shot_Quality) July 18, 2021
Since the poor outing in Game 1, the Bucks have produced better looks than the Suns according to ShotQuality.com. This changed in Game 5. Phoenix was marginally better by the same metric, but they were made to pay for missed mid-range shots. Holiday and Khris Middleton were lethal from the mid-range to accompany a team-wide white-hot shooting night.
No Stopping Giannis
Both teams had offense ratings over 130. That’s not going to happen again in Game 6. The 222 total points line might look high after such an offense-heavy night in Phoenix, but it’s more reasonable than it seems. Game 5 was also the slowest game of the series so far, and there was still plenty of good defense played by both teams.
Giannis Antetokounmpo. 🤯 pic.twitter.com/R0hIxxN1KV
Where outlier shooting gave the Bucks the all-important win in Game 5, it will still be defense that decides who wins this series. The Suns are yet to really slow Giannis down, and he continues to dominate. Even with Deandre Ayton avoiding foul trouble, the two-time MVP finished with 32 points on 23 shots, and it could have been a yet more impressive line if he made a few more free throws (he went four-for-11 from the stripe).
Giannis in the NBA Finals:
Historic numbers. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/NOWsbtm0D0
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) July 19, 2021
Antetokounmpo is rightly the Finals MVP favorite. He has been phenomenal from Game 2 onwards, and the Bucks were always going to be hard to beat if he got enough scoring support from Holiday and Middleton.
Bucks Wrap It Up
With so many above-average to elite defenders, Milwaukee still has options to throw at Booker and Chris Paul. The Suns have had no answer for Giannis. Mike Budenholzer has tweaked his offense, using Middleton as a screener, and leaning more heavily on lineups with Antetokoummpo and Portis (and neither of Tucker or Lopez).
truly amazing how, 25 seconds into the game, his team up 2-0, Mike Budenholzer is beet-red, profusely sweating, and appears to have just been informed that "snake eyes" is actually a bad thing to roll https://t.co/PFDTk8rCtg
— Rodger Sherman (@rodger) July 18, 2021
Five of Milwaukee’s last seven playoff games have seen them win by six or more points. The crowd will be wild on Tuesday, and their shooting has been much better at home.
The Bucks are the team to back here, even at -5.
- Pick: Milwaukee Bucks -5 (-110)
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