Here we are…the last week of the 2020/21 NBA season with the Milwaukee Bucks just one win away from NBA Finals glory for the first time since 1971.
The Phoenix Suns had built a 2-0 lead to open the 2020-21 NBA Finals a week ago. Now, they’re one loss away from elimination with the Milwaukee Bucks rattling off three wins on the trot to send the series to six games.
Game 6 is in Milwaukee and the Bucks are early $1.47 and -4.5 favourites to wrap up the Larry O’Brien Trophy. But first, the three-game winning streak.
Giannis Antetokounmpo put himself beside elite company when he led the Bucks to a 120-100 win in Game 3 with 41 points, 13 rebounds and six assists. This after scoring 42 points in their Game 2 defeat.
Only two players in NBA history had 40+ points and 10+ rebounds in back-to-back Finals games.
Shaq and Giannis. pic.twitter.com/IO4pZJEbDO
— StatMuse (@statmuse) July 12, 2021
It was Khris Middleton’s turn in Game 4. Disappointing in Game 2 and 3, the 29-year-old bounced back and added another element to the Bucks offence with 40 points on 15-33 shooting. He scored 10 straight points in the 4th quarter. However, this game will be remembered for Antetokounmpo’s block in the dying stages.
That block by Giannis might have won them the game
— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) July 15, 2021
Game 5 became the Jrue Holiday game. He finished up with 27 points, 13 assists and three steals including one late in the game that led to a monster Antetokounmpo dunk. Up 120-119 with 20.3 seconds on the clock, Holiday stripped the ball from Devin Booker. Assessing his options in transition, Holiday caught Antetokounmpo in the lane and lofted one up to a place only the Greek Freak could collect it. Bang. Game.
Antetokounmpo (32 points/9 rebounds/6 assists, Middleton (29/7/5) and Holiday (27/4/14) terrorised the Suns in Game 5. They’ll now have a chance to win the NBA Finals on their home court in Game 6.
Nobody can rule out the Suns and Chris Paul, but it’s going to take a monster effort to pull it back from here. Antetokounmpo Over 33.5 points ($1.95) is worthy of attention given the likelihood that he circles this one as the end of the series. Similarly, we know Booker will go down shooting and flirt with his 30.5 points if not clear it comfortably ($1.84).
Strap yourself in. Game 6 is going to be a beauty.
Blazers Losing Lillard?
You could hardly blame Damian Lillard for demanding a trade away from the Portland Trailblazers.
The rumour that began to circulate over the weekend isn’t true, though.
Damian Lillard says he woke up to reports of him on the verge of requesting a trade “is not true.” And says secondly, “I haven’t made any firm decisions on what my future will be.”
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 16, 2021
Lillard admitting he hasn’t “made any firm decisions” suggests there is some truth to the rumour. He has fought the good fight for too long to spend another summer watching other teams get better while the Blazers roll it back with a similar cast again. He has just turned 31-years-old. While still playing excellent basketball after averaging 28.8 points, 4.2 rebounds and 7.5 assists last season, Father Time will catch up with Lillard soon enough. He knows that his chances of winning an NBA championship are diminishing every season.
Despite the denials, the Lillard/Blazers relationship looks to be over. If not before the start of next season, before the trade deadline passes in 2022.
Wizards Land Unsled Jr
Wes Unsled Jr has ended back up at the Washington Wizards having spent 14 years working for the franchise as a scout and in various coaching roles. More recently, he has become one of the most sought after assistant coaches during his time with the Denver Nuggets.
Wes Unseld Jr., has agreed to a four-year deal to become the new head coach of the Washington Wizards, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 17, 2021
The US Men’s Basketball Team has been in the news for all of the wrong reasons recently. In dropping games to Nigeria and Australia in exhibition play, this team still filled with superstars – despite many pulling out – look vulnerable. Although, that isn’t showing in the Gold Medal Market.
Olympics Basketball Futures
|Team||Gold Medal Odds|