The ‘Suns in Fo’ spirit is still alive, but sustaining that will be easier said than done for the Phoenix Suns, as they now take the role of the road team in this series against the desperate Milwaukee Bucks.
Catch this game live on Monday, July 12, at 8 AM, Manila time.
HOME TEAM: Milwaukee Bucks (0-2, 0-0 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Jrue Holiday
- SG: Khris Middleton
- SF: PJ Tucker
- PF: Giannis Antetokounmpo
- C: Brook Lopez
After watching Games 1 and 2, you may feel like you’ve seen this movie before, probably because you have. Back in the second round of the playoffs, the Bucks also lost the first two games of the series on the road against the Brooklyn Nets, then came roaring back to advance to the conference finals.
With the Finals finally shifting to Milwaukee, the Bucks should be all fired up, notwithstanding the deep hole they’re in. For one, they are 7-1 in the playoffs when playing at Fiserv Forum. Playing at home could just be what the doctor ordered for Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday. Both left Giannis Antetokounmpo on his own in Game 2. While Giannis scored 42 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, Middleton and Holiday combined for just 28 points on an atrocious 12-of-37 shooting from the field.
It can’t be just Giannis functioning for the Bucks’ Big Three. Faced with mounting pressure in a virtual must-win game, Middleton and Holiday can be expected to wake up and deliver the goods for the Bucks, who are 4-1 ATS in their last five games at home.
ROAD TEAM: Phoenix Suns (2-0, 0-0 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Chris Paul
- SG: Devin Booker
- SF: Mikal Bridges
- PF: Jae Crowder
- C: Deandre Ayton
Devin Booker and Chris Paul are always the top guys for Phoenix, but it didn’t hurt the Suns when Mikal Bridges joined in the party in Game 2 by scoring 27 points while playing terrific defense. Bridges became the Suns’ insurance for the subpar offensive play of Deandre Ayton, who only had 10 points but still had 11 rebounds, three steals, and two blocks.
That’s just how complete of a team the Suns are and it’s on full display in this series. The Suns also shot 50% (20-40) from long distance in Game 2, which could likely mean regression on their 3-point accuracy this Monday. Nevertheless, that should keep Milwaukee’s defense honest, at least in the early goings of Game 3.
One thing to monitor for the Suns is the status of Torrey Craig, who is day-to-day with a right knee bruise. While he’s not a primary option for Phoenix, Craig is often a big plus for the Suns whenever he’s on the floor. The Suns are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games away from the Valley.
Spread: The stakes are so high for the Bucks in Game 3. Losing on Monday would sound the death knell for them. The public could be all over the Bucks, but I’m still taking the Suns to cover (+4).
Over/Under: The over has hit in both Games 1 and 2. But this time, the Suns won’t hit as well from behind the arc, while both teams’ defenses shine. Take the Under (222.0).