The 2021 NBA Finals are set to commence with the Phoenix Suns hosting the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 1 on Tuesday night. The Suns defeated the Bucks in each of the two games between these sides during the regular season, but only by a solitary point on both occasions.
The Milwaukee Bucks proved during the Eastern Conference Finals that they’re not entirely about Giannis Antetokounmpo. Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday showcased their mettle against the Atlanta Hawks with Giannis looking on from the sidelines as the Bucks secured their first finals berth since 1974.
For the Phoenix Suns, Chris Paul‘s availability has been something for them to fret about. Paul suffered a shoulder injury against the LA Lakers and missed the first two games against the LA Clippers due to COVID. Paul has overcome every adversity and, supported by Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton, led the Suns to their first NBA Finals since 1993.
Milwaukee Bucks Injury Report
Giannis Antetokounmpo continues to trudge along the road to recovery after hyperextending his left knee in Game 3 against the Atlanta Hawks. Giannis is listed as doubtful for the opening matchup of the 2021 NBA Finals. There’s little reason for the Milwaukee Bucks to risk playing him tonight, so you can expect him to sit this one out. Donte DiVincenzo (left ankle surgery) will also be unavailable.
Phoenix Suns Injury Report
The Phoenix Suns are expected to have their full roster available for tonight’s encounter against the Milwaukee Bucks. Chris Paul had complained about playing against the LA Clippers with a partially torn ligament in his right hand, but he wasn’t mentioned in the Suns’ injury report. Cameron Johnson missed Game 6 against the Clippers due to a non-COVID illness, but he has recovered as
Milwaukee Bucks vs Phoenix Suns: Predicted Lineups
The Milwaukee Bucks will rely on the same starting five that saw them overcome the Atlanta Hawks in the last two games of the Eastern Conference Finals. Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton will start in the backcourt, while the frontcourt will comprise PJ Tucker, Bobby Portis and Brook Lopez.
Pat Connaughton will get his usual minutes off the bench, while Bryn Forbes should get roughly 10 minutes of action. The rest of the bench might go largely unused, though. Jeff Teague is the only other Bucks reserve likely to get some playing time.
The Phoenix Suns will be spearheaded by their star backcourt duo of Chris Paul and Devin Booker. Mikal Bridges had a quiet series against the LA Clippers, but he’ll be hoping to put the clamps on Khris Middleton. Jae Crowder and Deandre Ayton will complete the starting five.
Cameron Payne has stepped up big time in the playoffs and he’ll be the first guy off the bench for the Phoenix Suns. Cameron Payne’s 3-and-D ability will make him a crucial role player in the Suns’ second unit. Torrey Craig should also feature in head coach Monty Williams’ rotation tonight.
Milwaukee Bucks vs Phoenix Suns: Predicted Starting 5s
Point Guard – Jrue Holiday l Shooting Guard – Khris Middleton l Small Forward – PJ Tucker l Power Forward – Bobby Portis l Center – Brook Lopez
Point Guard – Chris Paul l Shooting Guard – Devin Booker l Small Forward – Mikal Bridges l Power Forward – Jae Crowder l Center – Deandre Ayton