Suns @ Bucks Game 3: Will Milwaukee show signs of life?
With the series shifting to Milwaukee, will Bucks show signs of life...?
Holding a commanding 2-0 series lead, the Phoenix Suns head to Milwaukee in hopes of getting the two wins necessary to earn their first NBA Finals win.
I’ve been betting Phoenix pretty heavily in these playoffs, and when I saw them at plus-money, my eyes widened.
However, as good as Phoenix is, I think this is actually the game Milwaukee could steal.
Even though Milwaukee’s supporting cast didn’t do much in Game 2, they were still hanging around late. They were able to close the double-digit gap multiple times before the Suns would make a play to get momentum back.
The other thing is that you can’t fake desperation. Right now, I think Giannis Antetokounmpo and the rest of this group know that if they don’t take Game 3 tonight, they’ll likely be swept.
If you watched Game 2, it would seem that Giannis’ knee injury is non-existent now. He essentially bullied the Suns defense, scoring whenever he wanted. He scored 42 points and showed that he could still drive to the hoop and dunk on whoever was in his way.
He also had a turnaround jumper going for him, something that we haven’t really seen him hit with any type of consistency. If he had gotten really any help in Game 2, I think this series is even right now.
The Bucks tried to get Jrue Holiday going after an abysmal showing in Game 1. They had the first play of the game drawn up for him, just to watch him miss the 26-foot shot. After a Giannis dunk, Holiday drilled a mid-range and made a layup two possessions later. From that point, he shot 1-for-11 the rest of the half. He shot a much more efficient 4-for-7 in the second half, but the matter is that Holiday has been a disappointment this series.
Then there’s Middleton, who shot 5-for-16 for just 11 points. As I highlighted in an earlier preview, Middleton will either get you 30+ or get you 17 or less. That held true Tuesday night. I expect an uptick in his production with the series now back in Milwaukee.
One player that finally showed signs of being human was Deandre Ayton. He scored just 10 points and was seemingly getting blocked by everyone in the gym. But it really didn’t matter much down the stretch, as the Suns were able to get a 27-point performance out of Mikal Bridges.
The Suns’ depth took another blow at the end of Game 2 when Torrey Craig took a charge on Giannis and went flying, landing on his back before having to be helped off. While he’s not their No. 1 bench option, the Suns are already without Dario Saric for the remainder of these playoffs, that losing Craig would make things even more difficult.
I also am leaning toward the under. I know both games have gone over so far, but we’ve seen officials let Milwaukee play a little more physical there than when they’re on the road, so I think there’s a chance we see our first under of the series.
For our prop of the night, I’m backing Ayton again. I think we see him bounce back tonight, so his over 15.5 looks delightful.