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Milwaukee Bucks vs. Phoenix Suns Preview: Finals. Rematch.

Back where our joy all began

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NBA: Finals-Milwaukee Bucks at Phoenix Suns Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

I have been fortunate to experience an unbelievable life so far, full of so many joyous moments they’d be impossible to recollect in a hundred hours, but one that will always stick with me is Game Five of the Milwaukee Bucks vs. the Phoenix Suns. On Thursday, the Bucks return to the scene of that unforgettable game, with a chance to stamp this wildly successful road trip with the season’s best win thus far. Add in that it’s trade deadline day, and this has the makings of one wonderful 24 hours.

Where We’re At

Giannis Antetokounmpo is fresh off scoring 44 points, 15 boards and eight assists against the Los Angeles Lakers, needing merely 20 shots to do so. Their 131-116 pantsing of a hapless Lakers defensive squad was a nice appetizer, featuring the most offensive flow I think we’ve seen all season, but they’re in for a far more fearsome monster this time around. The hit rate between Phoenix and Milwaukee games these past two seasons is remarkable, with two classic regular season tussles capped off by that stellar six-game series with the Bucks roaring back after falling down 0-2.

Phoenix is on an absolute tear this season, doing everything in their power to prove the many, many doubters from last season wrong. Were I a Suns fan, I would be unbelievably frustrated by the stink of a narrative that we were merely lucky last postseason not wearing off all offseason. The musk of a 44-10 record is doing wonders for dispelling that lingering stench, but of course the mainstream media requires postseason validation in order to fully cleanse your team of their “choking” sins. The Suns are a delight to watch though with their backcourt and an interchangeable selection of forwards, plus Ayton down low. I could go into the x’s and o’s all day, but let’s just take a minute to recollect on all the outstanding Game Five moments.

Player to Watch

It’s gotta be DeAndre Ayton, who is seeking as large a contract as possible this offseason after the Suns opted not to give him a max extension this past Fall. He acquitted himself remarkably well throughout the Suns runs to the Finals, but he couldn’t match Giannis’s physicality across the entirety of that six-game series. Eventually, Antetokounmpo got the best of him by bullying down low, a tact that showed no sign of stopping during his rampage over the overrun Lakers squad. This should be a fabulous test to see how far Ayton has come in the past several months.


Poll

Game 57: Against Phoenix, the Bucks will...

This poll is closed

  • 11%
    Win big (by 10 or more points)
    (19 votes)
  • 41%
    Win close (by 9 or fewer points)
    (67 votes)
  • 32%
    Lose close (by 9 or fewer points)
    (53 votes)
  • 14%
    Lose big (by 10 or more points)
    (24 votes)
163 votes total Vote Now

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