The 2021 NBA Finals appeared to be headed toward an early finish. Then the series shifted back to Milwaukee. The Phoenix Suns had a 2-0 lead and that lead has evaporated into a 2-2 tie with the Milwaukee Bucks in the series. Now, it’s a 3-game set with two games in Phoenix to decide who will be crowned 2020-2021 champion.
We saw a wild Game 4 in Milwaukee on Wednesday night, a game saved by Giannis Antetokounmpo and riddled with questionable calls on both sides. Devin Booker should have fouled out, though that call ended up not playing a huge factor in the outcome. Chris Paul had an “uncharacteristic” turnover late in the contest. Deandre Ayton got denied on an alley-oop attempt by The Greek Freak to preserve the Bucks’ lead. It resulted in Milwaukee winning 109-103 to tie the series.
So with that, let’s take a look at the opening lines for Game 5, which is Saturday night at 9 p.m. ET on ABC in Phoenix.
Suns vs. Bucks Game 5 odds
Spread: Suns -3.5 (-115)
Over/Under: 218 (-110)
Moneyline: PHX -165, MIL +145
I’m beginning to lean on the Bucks in this series with the momentum heading into Game 5. The fact the game is in Phoenix doesn’t tilt the needle all that much for me. Giannis is starting to look dominant on defense and the Bucks won despite the rest of the team looking pretty awful. Khris Middleton had 40 points on 33 FG attempts in Game 4, which is not efficient at all. Jrue Holiday shot 4-of-20 from the floor. The rest of the supporting cast barely showed up, yet Milwaukee was able to pick up the win.
Couple the above with the fact that the Suns shot over 50 percent from the floor and it still felt like the Bucks locked them up on defense. Chris Paul was a non-factor for the first time in what feels like a while in the playoffs. Ayton cleared the glass on defense but did very little else. Mikal Bridges, Jae Crowder and Cam Johnson did OK but weren’t aggressive enough. The Suns are at their best in transition, hitting open 3s and moving the ball. In Game 4, their offense was Devin Booker and it didn’t work after Book got in foul trouble. Nobody else wanted to step up and down the stretch that’s exactly what happened.
We could see a different result in Game 5 at home. We could also see a stronger effort on defense from Giannis and the Bucks, resulting in another close game. That feels like the most likely outcome, so I’m leaning toward Milwaukee and the points on the road. It’s either that or the Suns will show up, shoot the lights out and we’re back to Milwaukee with Phoenix leading 3-2.
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