The 2021 NBA Finals have officially arrived as the Phoenix Suns earned the 118-105 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 1 of this much-anticipated matchup. With the Suns entering the Finals for the first time since 1993 while the Bucks haven’t been here since 1974, these small market organizations have waited a long time to see their respective teams on the NBA’s most prolific stage again.
Phoenix wasted no time taking care of business at home, sealing the comfortable win in which they led by as many as 20 points. Led by superstars Chris Paul and Devin Booker with key role players Deandre Ayton, Mikal Bridges, Cam Payne, and Cameron Johnson all making an impactful difference, the Western Conference champions fed off the energy of the crowd to prevail in impressive fashion.
The Suns shot 46.6 percent from the floor, knocked down 25-of-26 free throws, and outscored the Bucks 44-42 in the paint. By showcasing more intensity, setting the tone, and efficiently executing to develop a consistent rhythm, they seemed to be in control throughout the majority of the game.
Despite two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo returning after only a week-long absence due to a hyperextended left knee, Milwaukee failed to find their own consistent rhythm. They shot 44.4 percent from beyond the arc while Khris Middleton dropped 29 points on 46.2 percent field goals, but the Bucks ultimately fell short.
As the Phoenix Suns take Game 1 of the 2021 NBA Finals over the Milwaukee Bucks, let’s dive into three takeaways from this exciting, initial duel.
Game 1 was an intriguing chess match with both head coaches, Phoenix’s Monty Williams and Milwaukee’s Mike Budenholzer, adjusting many in-game schemes on both ends of the floor. Here are three takeaways that we learned from this initial duel of the NBA Finals.