The Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Atlanta Hawks 118-107 in Game 6 of the 2021 Eastern Conference Finals.
With the win the Bucks advance to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1974.
Milwaukee has opened as the betting underdog to the Phoenix Suns in the 2021 NBA Finals.
No Giannis, No Problem. Again.
After defeating the Atlanta Hawks in Game 5 without their two-time MVP, the Milwaukee Bucks entered Saturday’s Game 6 against the Atlanta Hawks looking to advance to the NBA Finals by winning without Giannis Antetokounmpo again. And just like in the game before, Milwaukee’s other players stepped up big time.
Khris Middleton scored 32 points to lead the Bucks, including 23 in the third quarter. Jrue Holiday added 27 points, 9 assists and 4 steals in another brilliant all-around effort while Brook Lopez, Bobby Portis, Pat Conaughton, and Jeff Teague scored in double digits.
Milwaukee won Game 6 1118-107 and they are now headed to the NBA Finals for the fist time since 1974.
Bucks First Finals Appearance in 47 Years
🦌 BUCKS ARE IN 🦌
For the first time in 47 years, they’re going to the Finals 🔥 pic.twitter.com/Bqi6WrdsDy
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) July 4, 2021
With the Game 6 win, the Bucks will be headed to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1974. To illustrate how long ago that was, P.J. Tucker- the oldest member of the 2021 Bucks team, was born 11 years after Milwaukee’s most recent Finals appearance. And don’t forget, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was still known as Lew Alcindor back then.
Milwaukee was submerged in mediocrity for a long time. They made it past the first round of the playoffs only once between 1990 and 2018. The Bucks had their breakthrough in 2019 but ran into a destined Toronto Raptors team in the Conference Finals. Last season, the Bucks were eliminated in the 2nd round by the Boston Celtics despite having the league’s best regular season record for the second consecutive season and some thought that was the end of their run.
But the Bucks knew what they were missing. They traded for Jrue Holiday and then added veterans like Bobby Portis and P.J. Tucker ( during the season). While non of their additions were as high-profile as the Nets getting James Harden or the Lakers getting Andre Drummond, they paid off when they needed them most.
We all know how big Tucker played defense against KD in the Brooklyn series and how Portis stepped up when Giannis got hurt. As for Holiday, he’s worth every piece they gave up on that trade to get him. He’s been one of their most solid performers in the playoffs aside from Antetokounmpo and Middleton.
Bucks vs Suns NBA Finals
Bucks vs. Suns NBA Finals. 🍿 pic.twitter.com/ZZW4ZK3oHn
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) July 4, 2021
And so the 2021 NBA Finals match-up is set. The Milwaukee Bucks will take on the Phoenix Suns in this year’s edition of the NBA’s championship series. Since the Suns finished with the second-best record in the entire NBA, they will have home court advantage in the Finals. Below is the schedule of games for the Bucks vs Suns 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
The Phoenix Suns are 5½ point favorites over the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 1 of the NBA Finals
— BetOnline.ag (@betonline_ag) July 4, 2021
With Game 1 to be played at the Phoenix Arena and Giannis Antetokounmpo’s status still unknown, the BetOnline App has listed the Suns as -5.5 point betting favorites to win Game 1 while DraftKings has opened them as the -235 odds on favorite at their moneyline odds. With Game 1 to be played at the Phoenix Arena and Giannis Antetokounmpo’s status still unknown.
Phoenix has opened as the betting favorites to win the NBA championship in the best NBA betting sites. BetMGM has opened Phoenix at -150 with Milwaukee coming back at +125. Meanwhile, PointsBet Sportsbook has the Suns at -170 and the Bucks at +145 while William Hill US currently lists Phoenix as the -175 odds on favorite and Milwaukee as the +155 betting underdogs.
#NBAFinals odds are up at William Hill for the Series & for Game 1! 👀🏀🏆 pic.twitter.com/Zk0ULxKvRw
— William Hill US (@WilliamHillUS) July 4, 2021
This isn’t the Finals matchup that most of us expected before the start of the season. But these are the two teams who eliminated the preseason title favorites. Phoenix sent home the defending champions Los Angeles Lakers and L.A. Clippers while the Bucks ousted the Brooklyn Nets. Which of these giant-killers will be crowned as the next NBA champions?