NBA Finals Game 4
It appears the Bucks followed all of the keys to win Game 3 through the outline in the previous two blogs.
Get DeAndre Ayton into foul trouble, limit the corner threes taken by Phoenix, Jrue Holiday actually played like he was worth his money, and Scott Foster happened to ref Game 3. The Dario Saric injury for Phoenix is proving to be deadly as Frank Kaminsky is an utter liability on both ends of the court and cannot be played. Without DeAndre Ayton the entire Suns team falls apart. Booker simply cannot go 3 of 14 from the field. He needs to have more criticism for his utterly awful performance. If this were LeBron the media, especially Stephen a Smith, would not let them hear the end of it.
Game 4 is crucial. The Bucks made this a somewhat competitive series by winning Game 3 with a large point differential. If the Suns win Game 4 the series is seemingly over. If the Bucks win, the series will have gotten interesting.
The Suns cannot let Ayton get into foul trouble and Devin Booker cannot have a horrific game if they intend on winning the series. Giannis is utterly unstoppable and probably will go off for another spectacular performance. One thing of note he had possibly his best free-throw performance in his entire NBA career especially given the stakes of that game. The Bucks need another solid performance from either in Middleton or Holiday as well as getting support from Connaughton, Portis and the other role players on the team if they want to tie things up at two going back to the desert.
It’s unfortunate because Brook Lopez is an awesome player and the leading scorer and Nets franchise history, but he is not a great factor especially when DeAndre Ayton is off the court. Giannis and the entire Bucks team play better when he is in attack mode essentially playing as the biggest man on the court. This works because if Ayton is off the court the Suns have some conglomerate of Jay Crowder, Cameron Johnson or Mikail Bridges guarding Giannis.
The additional day off in between games four and three because of the Major League Baseball home run derby and All-Star game should benefit Phoenix more so than Milwaukee. The reason being is that Phoenix is banged up at this moment and an extra day of rest should do them well. Milwaukee is riding some momentum coming off of a stellar game three performance across most of the team into what is possibly the most crucial game of their three stars careers thus far.
Giannis is poised to have another huge game. The Bucks need either Middleton or Holiday to ball out. The Bucks also have the blueprint to win. Get Ayton into foul trouble and limit either Chris Paul or Book, while limiting corner threes.
This is a legacy-caliber game. Chris Paul needs to produce to get rid of the connotation that he can’t win. Giannis needs a Finals win to cement his young legacy. The edge goes to Giannis here as he is at home and has posted back-to-back 40 points games.