clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

NBA Finals, Game 6 Preview: Suns aim to extend series, avoid elimination

New, comments

It’s time to return the favor, beat Bucks on their court

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

2021 NBA Finals - Practice and Media Availability Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

NBA FINALS GAME SIX (Suns trail 2-3)

What: Milwaukee Bucks host Phoenix Suns

When: Tuesday, July 20 at 6:00 PM AZ/Pacific

Where: Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, WI

Watch: ABC

Listen: 98.7 FM


You know how this series has gone.

It started out great as the Suns took a 2-0 advantage.

The last three matches have resulted in a 3-game losing streak.

This series is now in the Bucks’ hands as Phoenix trails 2-3.

However, it’s far from over. Block out any negativity and think positive.

As Trevor wrote, the Diamondbacks won the final two games and won the chip when they trailed 2-3 back in 2001. Anything is possible and we have seen how resilient these Suns are.

As the shoes in the picture say “Can’t give up now.”


STARTERS

SUNS - Chris Paul / Devin Booker / Mikal Bridges / Jae Crowder / Deandre Ayton

BUCKS - Jrue Holiday / Khris Middleton / P.J. Tucker / Giannis Antetokounmpo / Brook Lopez


INJURIES

Nothing new to report. Hopefully, it stays that way for both teams.


OFFICIALS

This part usually does not matter, but Scott Foster is Scott Foster. He will be refereeing the fourth game of these playoffs against the Suns and is so far 2-0* this year when Chris Paul is on the court.

The Suns won Game 2 of the WCF with Foster officiating the game, the famous ‘Valley Oop’ game that took half an hour to play the final two minutes because of excessive reviews over what did not seem to need so much review. Chris Paul did not play in that game (COVID).

Paul has now lost 12 straight playoff games refereed by Scott Foster, including one earlier in these Finals. That was the Suns loss in Game 3, a game where the Suns were down 15 points in the first half before they faced any sort of referee whatsthat. Foster called fouls three and four against Deandre Ayton, late in the second quarter and early in the third, but the Suns were already choking on their own spit and Booker was on his way to his worst playoff game.

We’ll see how tonight’s game goes.


The Suns need to come out strong like they did in the first quarter of Game 5 (37-21) but they need to keep their foot on the gas pedal from there. That second quarter (43-24) is ultimately what did us in.

You can point out a lot of things they did and didn’t do but it really comes down to that. Especially on the road in front of a raucous crowd that will be hoping to see their team win the chip, these Suns need to have a strong start and they can’t let up. That will help at least calm the opposing fans which will help the team concentrate more on the task at hand.

Chris Paul, oh dear Point God, we need you, now more than ever. Remind fans that you are a huge reason why we have got this far in the first place.

Devin Booker, sweet Book, forget about Game 3 and keep playing how you have in Games 4 and 5, with back-to-back 40-point outings in the NBA Finals.

Deandre Ayton, DA, we need the beast to be brought back. You’re a huge reason why this team has done so well in these playoffs. Don’t breathe on Giannis too hard but play with that intensity and fire you displayed before this round.

Jae Crowder, be that veteran leader we know you are that will do anything it takes to help the team win.

Mikal Bridges, continue to make your mom proud, and please provide all those intangibles and that solid defense Warden. These Suns are so much better when you are on.

To the rest of the team, just contribute. We are well aware that any player on this roster can step up when needed. Well, it doesn’t get any more needed than now and we need all of you.

Let’s Go!!!


Bottom Line

Suns fans, we know what needs to be done. So, I’ll leave you with this.

Sadly, Paul Westphal passed away on January 2nd. The man that had a huge role for the Suns organization as a player in the 1976 Finals and as a coach in the 1993 Finals. I’ve firmly believed that Westy has been with us this season and I believe he still is.

These next two games are on Tuesday and Thursday. I keep thinking back to his guarantee when the Suns trailed the Lakers 0-2 on their road to the ‘93 NBA Finals.

“I know the next question is, ‘Are you guys dead?’” Westphal said in postgame press conference. “No. We’re going to win the series. We’re going to win one Tuesday, and the next game is Thursday. We’ll win there and we’ll come back and win the series. Everybody will say what a great series it was.”

Again, the next two games are on Tuesday and Thursday. This team knows what they need to do and I believe Westy will ride with them.

We are two wins away from the first championship in franchise history. Let’s bring it home.