The Phoenix Suns are looking to stave off elimination when they face the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 6 of the 2021 NBA Finals on Tuesday. For the first time in these playoffs, the Suns are on the verge of being sent home after losing three straight games.
They had two legitimate chances the past two games, but the Phoenix Suns couldn’t finish the job they started. After a poor performance in Game 3, Devin Booker exploded for a pair of 40-point games which the Suns squandered when they lost both of them regardless. The losses have resulted in the predicament that coach Monty Williams’ squad is in right now, with their postseason lives at stake for Game 6.
Chris Paul is aching to win his first championship but that will be in jeopardy when he steps on the floor on Tuesday. He played a sensational Game 5 with 21 points on 9-of-15 shooting including 3-of-3 from 3-point range. He also had 11 assists and just one turnover.
Though the Phoenix Suns’ top two players did nearly everything right the past two games, they still suffered defeat. So what else do the Phoenix Suns have to do to win Game 6 and avoid being eliminated?
1. Phoenix Suns need to move the ball around
The Phoenix Suns have failed to rotate the ball the past four games. They won Game 1 because they were determined to find the open man before someone took a shot. Since then, the Milwaukee Bucks have been the more disciplined team, making the extra pass to get one of their teammates open.
This has resulted in the Phoenix Suns losing three of the last four games. In the NBA Finals, the Bucks are averaging 23.6 assists per game compared to just 21.2 for the Suns. In the first three rounds of the playoffs, Phoenix was distributing the ball at the rate of 24.4 assists a night.
These stats show that the Phoenix Suns’ ball handlers (Booker, Chris Paul and Elfrid Payton) aren’t getting the job done and that the Bucks’ defense is preventing them from doing their jobs right.
Booker can’t win a championship by his lonesome, and he certainly won’t be able to keep them from being eliminated on Tuesday on his own. It has to be a collective effort by the Suns’ players to get their offense running in high gear by finding the open man.