It is Game Three of the 2021 NBA Finals and we have analysed the game to bring you the best NBA picks for tonight’s action.
Will the Phoenix Suns continue their dominance or can the Milwaukee Bucks get their first win on the board? Our NBA picks give you all of the answers plus our best bets for the big game.
Phoenix Suns @ Milwaukee Bucks (Game 3) – 8pm EDT
The 2021 NBA Finals head to Milwaukee with the Phoenix Suns holding a commanding 2-0 series lead. Phoenix actually only won one of the four quarters during the game, with the Milwaukee Bucks winning two and the teams drawing the fourth, but the Suns made theirs count. A 30-16 second period, combined with 20 made threes for the game, gave Phoenix the edge and they stamped their authority in front of their fans, winning 118-108.
Suns take Game 2!
More to do, more to come. See you in Milwaukee.
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) July 9, 2021
With the Suns winning both games by 10+ points, the Bucks will be hoping that a change of scenery will do them wonders. After scoring a team-high 29 points in Game One, Khris Middleton went missing on Thursday, finishing with just 11 points on 5-16 shooting. This has to be a worrying sign for Milwaukee, as Giannis Antetokounmpo recaptured some form offensively but his sidekick couldn’t deliver alongside him.
However it isn’t just Middleton that is failing to deliver on the biggest stage. Jrue Holiday followed up his 10 point Game One with a 17 point performance in Game Two, shooting just 7-21 from the field. Combine that with Brook Lopez, who has become unplayable at times due to his lack of speed on defense, being torched by both Chris Paul and Devin Booker in pick and roll situations.
Ultimately, despite three of their starters underperforming in Game Two, Milwaukee will still be kicking themselves for not being able to capitalize on Antetokounmpo’s big night. After looking ordinary in his return on Tuesday, the 2x MVP showed no signs of any lingering discomfort from his hyperextended knee in Game Two, putting up a game-high and postseason career high 42 points. On 15-22 shooting from the field, Antetokounmpo was dominant all night, adding 12 boards, four assists and three blocks with it.
Despite this, Milwaukee still didn’t have enough to overcome the hot-shooting Suns, falling down 2-0 and needing to win tonight to keep their Championship aspirations alive. Phoenix just shot them out of the game on Thursday, shooting 3.9% better from the field and making 11 more threes for the game.
Booker was a massive part of that, shooting 7-12 from deep on his way to a team-high 31 points. His sharp shooting and playmaking ability allowed Phoenix to flourish offensively, dishing out six of Phoenix’s 26 assists during the game. He had plenty of help though, with Paul handing out eight assists of his own, scoring 23 points with it.
The big surprise for the Suns was the exceptional play of Mikal Bridges, on both ends of the floor. While shutting down Middleton, Bridges broke out offensively to finish with 27 points. Not only did he score a playoff career high, but Bridges scored 10 of his 27 in the decisive fourth quarter, allowing the Suns to hold on for the win.
— Overtime (@overtime) July 9, 2021
Milwaukee fell down 2-0 to Brooklyn in the Conference Semifinals and looked almost defeated heading home for Game 3 but they rallied to win four of the next five games and win the series. While there is still a long way to go in this series and we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, the Bucks are due to respond and deliver here tonight. The Milwaukee role players always seem to grow an extra leg when playing at home and we expect them to shoot better than 9-31 from behind the arc as well.
Phoenix have well and truly asserted their dominance so far this series, but with Dario Saric going down on Tuesday and Torrey Craig getting injured on Thursday, the Suns are losing bodies to be able to throw at Antetokounmpo and the Bucks. Milwaukee will definitely take advantage of this, as well as the boost of playing in front of their fans and get their first win of the series.
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.
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