The Milwaukee Bucks finished the job tonight, winning Game 6 against the Atlanta Hawks on the road to take the Eastern Conference Finals 4-2. They advance to face the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Finals after a truly unpredictable playoffs.
The Suns will be the prohibitive favorites in this one, if the Bucks don’t get to full strength. Giannis Antetokounmpo missed the last two games of the Bucks-Hawks series, though Milwaukee’s secondary stars like Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday, and Brook Lopez gave the team a huge lift to get them to the Finals.
Phoenix, meanwhile, has avoided the major injuries that have plagued the NBA for the most part. Chris Paul missed a few games in COVID-19 protocols, and Cameron Payne left Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals with an injury, but returned for Game 4. The Suns have been arguably the healthiest team this postseason, and have played incredibly well, with Paul, Devin Booker, and Deandre Ayton leading the way.
The Bucks will get two full days to try and get Giannis, who did his first on-court work ahead of tonight’s game, back and ready to play. Game 1 in Phoenix is set for Tuesday, July 6.
Bucks-Suns NBA Finals:
Game 1: July 6
Game 2: July 8
Game 3: July 11
Game 4: July 14
Game 5*: July 17
Game 6*: July 20
Game 7*: July 22
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 4, 2021
Game 2 will take place on Thursday, July 8, before a three-day wait for the series to head to Milwaukee for Game 3 on Sunday, July 11. Game 4 in Milwaukee is set for Wednesday, July 14.
There will be three days before Game 5 in Phoenix, if necessary, and then against before Game 6 in Milwaukee. Game 7 would take place in Phoenix on Thursday, July 22 if things go that far.
All seven games will be broadcast on ABC.
The Phoenix Suns have home court advantage thanks to an edge in regular season record. Phoenix finished second in the Western Conference at 51-21, while the Milwaukee Bucks were the third seed in the East at 46-26.
Per MGM, the Suns are favorites at -150 to win the NBA Finals, vs. +125 for the Bucks. That could change based on Giannis Antetokounmpo’s status, of course.