Hello Smash Fans and welcome back! In this week’s article, I want to key in on game one of the NBA finals and talk about my analysis of the game and why each team performed the way they did. So, without further ado, let’s get into it.
As the game got closer and closer to tip-off, you could feel the anticipation building. By the time the game was scheduled to start, you could cut the tension with a knife even through the TV screen. Then in one fluid motion, the ball was thrown into the air and that tension became motivation to win the game. From the opening second of the 1st quarter, the Suns and the Bucks traded bucket after bucket as the score continued to climb. Just as one team began to separate, the other team closed the gap. Neither Giannis nor Booker wanted their team to lose and it showed. After the dust settled and the first quarter ended, The Greek Freek scored 8 points, and Devin Booker recorded 12, leading to a high scoring first quarter with both teams on pace to score over 100 points with a score of 26 to 30 in favor of the Suns.
The second quarter had the same intensity as the first. Even with the stars for both teams not producing at absurd rates during this period, the game still felt like every bucket mattered and every possession was vital to the outcome of the game. Then, as the quarter was coming to the end, something amazing happened. After a steal by Chris Paul, Mikal Bridges got the ball in transition for what seemed like a routine layup. However, what he didn’t see was The Greek Freak transform into Superman and took flight to create one of the most jaw-dropping blocks that I have ever seen, only topped by the block LeBron had in the 2016 finals to help turn the momentum in the fourth quarter allowing the Cleveland Cavaliers to complete the only 3-1 comeback in the history of the NBA finals. This being said, when the buzzer sounded at the end of the first half, the Suns were able to increase their lead to an 8 point advantage fueled by an 11 point quarter by none other than the Point God himself Chris Paul. However, this was not CP3’s best period. For that, we have to venture into quarter number 3.
It was in this period that the Suns really took control of this game and put it out of reach for the Bucks. In the other 3 quarters, the point differential between the two teams was 5 points, yet this game was never really close in the second half because Phoenix was able to outscore Milwaukee by 8 in the third, ballooning their lead to a 16 point advantage going into the fourth most of which was due to the play of Chris Paul. In the 3rd quarter alone Chris Paul had 16 points on 86% from the field. He could not miss no matter what the defense tried to do. CP3 was so dominant in this quarter that he hit a 3 point bomb while being flagrant fouled by Brook Lopez, giving Paul a 5 point play. The only reason this game did not get completely out of control was Khris Middleton. Middleton was able to once again turn a switch in the 3rd quarter and put up 11 points on 67 percent shooting with the only other player really contributing offensively being Brook Lopez with 6 points of his own. However, despite all of the above, the game was not over yet as Milwaukee still had one trick up their sleeve, the small-ball lineup.
At the beginning of the 4th quarter, the Bucks were able to punch the Suns in the mouth with their small-ball lineup and cut the lead to single digits early in the quarter. However, this push would not be enough as a combination of Devin Booker, Chris Paul, Cameron Payne, and Deandre Ayton were able to stop the run and push the lead back up to double digits where the score would hover for the rest of the game.
When it was set and done, the Suns were able to pull out a 118 to 105 victory against the Bucks on the backs of their big three who each finished with over 20 points for the game. More specifically, Deandre Ayton finished one rebound shy of a 20-20 game, while Chris Paul recorded 32 points with 9 assists, and Devin Booker scored 24 points along with 6 assists.
On the Bucks side of the equation, this was not a bad game by any means. They were able to score 105 points and only lost the game by 13 points on the road with their superstar, not at 100%. They really just needed to tighten up on the defensive end which I believe will happen more and more as Giannis gets healthy.
Overall, this was such a fun game to watch and it was clear to me that this series is going to be amazing for however long it lasts. A Suns vs Bucks series may not be what many people predicted, but it has the potential to be the best finals matchup since 2016.
Thank you Smash Fans for sticking with me until the end. If you want to talk about this topic or any other topic sports-related, please email me or text me using the information on the contact page. If you want to support me even more, please consider following my Spotify as well as subscribing to my YouTube channel and blog for weekly podcasts and articles. Until next time, PD Smash signing off