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NBA Finals Game 4 Preview: Bucks try to even series against the Suns

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A must win game in game 4 for the Bucks will make for another dominant performance from Giannis. Can Ayton stay on the floor to match the intensity?

NBA: Finals-Phoenix Suns at Milwaukee Bucks Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

What: Phoenix Suns (2-1) @ Milwaukee Bucks (2-1)

When: 6:00 p.m. AZ Time

Where: Fiserv Forum

Watch: ABC

Listen: 98.7 FM


The Phoenix Suns have found a real matchup in the Milwaukee Bucks, taking this series to a new level of fight and also worry from Suns fans. After game 3 of the NBA Finals, panic can be heard from the outside, but within the Suns locker-room, you know that the players were already locked-in and ready to focus on game 4.

I will not say that everything will be alright and there is nothing to worry about. After adjustments are made going into game 4, this Bucks team can still be a scary team playing like they did in game 3.

What the Suns do well, is respond. Can they find it in them to overcome another must win game against the Bucks? There is certainly hope and trust in this Suns team that has never been felt before.


Suns lineup

  1. Chris Paul
  2. Devin Booker
  3. Mikal Bridges
  4. Jae Crowder
  5. Deandre Ayton

Bucks Lineup

  1. Jrue Holiday
  2. Khris Middleton
  3. P.J. Tucker
  4. Giannis Antetokounmpo
  5. Brook Lopez

Injuries:

No new injuries. Suns Dario Saric (knee) and Bucks Donte DiVincenzo (ankle) OUT FOR REMAINDER OF PLAYOFFS


Suns Report

It was a ghost town in the 4th quarter during Sunday’s game 3 loss with Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton on the bench. Foul trouble and trouble with handling a blitzing Bucks defense, created chaos that was almost a blur at times.

Chris Paul who explained that looking at film after the loss, even admitted to not remembering a whole lot because everything was moving so fast.

Booker, Ayton, Paul, and this Suns team do know how to respond in a game 4, going 3-0 in the last three playoff series. All 3 on the road, and in hostile environments. Nothing like the Deer District, of course, but there was a momentum that the Suns played with in the first quarter of Sunday nights game, and the consistency was not there the rest of the night.

Looking at that quarter to see what they did right in getting Ayton the ball is key to building on that for the rest of the game. But Ayton, must remain in the game.

Loose balls need to be picked up and second chances at the rim need to be limited the best that it can be. Those are things that rarely linger into back-to-back games for the Suns.

And just as a side note, not playing Booker or Ayton in the last quarter, even with the poor showing in the first 3 quarters, was weird right? Ayton was in foul trouble and Booker shooting 3-14 from the field, yes, but this is a finals game and you would think it would be an all out effort for 48-minutes.

To me, anything can happen in the last 5-6 minutes of a basketball game...

Bucks Report

When Bucks players are feeling it from the fans after every dunk and made three-point shot, it is hard to loose that momentum. Any mistake that the Suns made, with a careless pass, or even bad foul, the fans made sure the Suns heard it.

The fans are great here in the Valley and also in Milwaukee, but it all starts with Giannis. Even with his knee bending sideways a few weeks ago, he is now back to being Giannis. A freak in the middle and hard to contain.

The only part that was missing in games 1 and 2 was the help from other teammates. Knocking down the wide open threes, and grabbing the loose ball to continue a to push the pace and add to an already double digit lead.

The Bucks took Booker and Ayton out of the game... in the 4th quarter. Something that I really have never seen in a finals game, even when up by 22-points. Mind games might have been reason, but the hustle is everything with this Bucks team when going against a better all-around basketball team in the Suns.


Prediction

A close game and a Suns win is the best go-to answer in this situation, but a loss can also be expected.

Suns fans already have game 5 planned out(including me) in having a Championship celebration inside and outside the arena with the series is over 4-1. A 7-game series can also be in the works.

There is: what we want, and what the NBA needs. The NBA and its fan base would be please with a long series, but to be realistic, this Suns team is better as a whole. In losing game 3, adjustments need to be made and we will see those adjustments tonight leading to a win for the Suns, 118-106.