2021 NBA Finals
Game 1: July 6, 9 PM ET, ABC
Game 2: July 8, 9 PM ET, ABC
Game 3: July 11, 8 PM ET, ABC
Game 4: July 14, 9 PM ET, ABC
*Game 5*: July 17, 9 PM ET, ABC
*Game 6*: July 20, 9 PM ET, ABC
*Game 7*: July 22, 9 PM ET, ABC
For the first time in so many years, there is no LeBron James or Stephen Curry in the NBA Finals. In fact, we saw them in the NBA’s newest addition to the playoffs this postseason, the play-in game, where James’ Lakers took care of Curry’s Warriors with LeBron’s game-winning three. The reason I say this is in the opening round the Suns eliminated LeBron for the first time ever in the first round. James’ record is now 14-1 in the first round. But, that is not what we are here to talk about. Of course, we are here to talk about the 2021 NBA Finals. The Chris Paul and Devin Booker led Phoenix Suns are set to battle against guard/forward Khris Middelton (20.4 points, 6 rebounds, and 5.4 assists per game), guard Jrue Holiday 17.7 points, 6.1 assists, 4.5 rebounds per game), and the Milwaukee Bucks. Two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo (28.1 points, 11 rebounds, and 6 assists per game) has been sidelined with an injury for the Bucks, but Milwaukee was able to win games five and six in the Eastern Conference Finals over the Atlanta. Phoenix went 8-0 in last season’s “bubble” before not being able to qualify for last season’s playoffs. In the off-season they added veteran point guard Chris Paul (16 points and 9 assists per game this season), who was a Finals appearance away from cementing his legacy as an NBA Hall of Famer entering the year. Paul has helped young stars (guard) Devin Booker and (big man) DeAndre Ayton out guiding the Suns to their first Finals appearance since 1993. Booker has averaged 25.6 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists per game while Ayton has averaged 14 points and almost 11 rebounds. With both teams winning their conference finals in six games, the match up can be seen as one as even as any NBA Finals match up we have seen since LeBron James’ Miami Heat faced off versus Tim Duncan’s San Antonio Spurs in the summers of 2013 and 2014. Of course, with two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo out for at least the first game or two, the Suns need to use that and home court advantage the first two games of the series to get an early series lead and finish the Bucks off before the “Greek Freak” comes back. It will be up to the aforementioned Khris Middelton and Jrue Holiday as well as big men Brook Lopez and Bobby Portis to get the Bucks going.
Prediction: Suns in 7
I hope everyone enjoys the 2021 NBA Finals :).