Here come the Milwaukee Bucks. After breaking through with a win in Game 2, the Bucks are looking forward to leveling the series against the Phoenix Suns. Will the Bucks make it a 2-2 series? Or, will the Suns give themselves a shot at closing it out at home in Game 5?
Catch this game live on Thursday, July 15, at 9 AM, Manila time.
HOME TEAM: Milwaukee Bucks (1-2, 1-0 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Jrue Holiday
- SG: Khris Middleton
- SF: PJ Tucker
- PF: Giannis Antetokounmpo
- C: Brook Lopez
Milwaukee was deemed as the more physically imposing team compared to the Suns prior to the 2021 NBA Finals, and that quality was on full display in Game 3. The Bucks out-rebounded Phoenix, 47-36, and were the busier team on the offensive glass.
They had 13 offensive rebounds, while the Suns only had six. With newfound confidence after such a dominant performance in a 120-100 win, the Bucks now have the momentum with a shot of tying the series all up in Game 4.
That eagerness on the glass should be maintained by the Bucks, who also got Deandre Ayton into foul trouble and outscored the Suns on second-chance points, 20-2. Giannis Antetokounmpo is looking unstoppable as well of late, with the two-time league MVP scoring 42 and 41 points in Games 2 and 3, respectively.
People can mock his free-throw shooting all they want, but he’s drawing fouls a lot in the series and making frequent trips to the charity stripe – which means he’s getting the Suns defenders into foul trouble.
The Bucks are 5-1 ATS in their last six games at home, while the Under is 6-2-2 in their last 10 as the favorite.
ROAD TEAM: Phoenix Suns (2-1, 0-1 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Chris Paul
- SG: Devin Booker
- SF: Mikal Bridges
- PF: Jae Crowder
- C: Deandre Ayton
Devin Booker showed he’s human after all when he had a poor start in Game 3 and never really recovered. Booker went 1 of 7 from the field in the first quarter and ended up 3 of 14 for just 10 points.
As talented and deep as the Suns are, they are going to need Booker to make those shots to survive the reinvigorated Bucks. Meanwhile, Cameron Johnson has been a source of optimism for Phoenix’s bench. He scored 14 points in Game 3 and is averaging 10.7 points on 38.5 FG% and 38.5 3FG% in the series, so far.
The Suns are also having success in the series from the mid-range, where they are getting 16.7% of their points to just 6.6% for the Bucks. Another key for the Suns is how they would manage Ayton’s minutes when he gets into foul trouble. Frank Kaminsky is simply unreliable as Ayton’s backup, especially on the defensive end of the floor, where he’s getting repeatedly exploited. Dario Saric is lost for the season, and Torrey Craig still doesn’t look great after his scary collision with Antetokounmpo in Game 2.
The Suns are 4-1 ATS in their last five games as the underdog, while the Over is 4-0-1 in their last five games overall.
Spread: The Bucks go 2 of 2 at home, but the Suns will cover (+4.5).
Over/Under: There won’t be a blowout this time around, with both teams’ defenses stepping up. Take the Under (220.5).