The Milwaukee Bucks continue their western road trip when they take on Phoenix on Thursday night in a rematch of the 2021 NBA Finals. This is true first time these teams have met since that six game series in which Milwaukee emerged victorious.
The NBA champions are currently 3-0 on the four game trip. Lets take a look at three things to help the Bucks
#1: Giannis to continue his MVP level form
There’s a reason Giannis Antetokounmpo has won two MVP awards and numerous other accolades already in his career. The Greek Freak is currently on a hell of a run of 20 games in a row with 25+ points and on course to beat Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s record.
In his most recent match against The Los Angeles Lakers, Giannis scored 44 points on 17/20 shooting (yes SEVENTEEN FOR TWENTY). That’s a field goal percentage of 85%. The man is a scoring machine of late. To add to his 44 points, he had 14 rebounds, eight assists along with one steal and two blocks. It was an MVP level performance, just like he has done all season.
This season, Giannis is really making a case to be awarded MVP
again. This season he is averaging 29 points, 11 rebounds and six assists in 32 minutes per game. He has a great supporting cast in Khris, Jrue and Bobby Portis meaning that teams cant commit too many players to guarding Giannis as they know they will be leaving another top
quality player open.
Quite frankly no team has found an answer to stopping Giannis. Even on a bad night, the man is unreal. Phoenix couldn’t stop him in the NBA Finals last year as we all known and despite leading the NBA standings with a superb record this season, this will be a tough ask for the Suns.
#2: Stop Booker and CP3
Mike Budenholzer and the Bucks coaching
team will know that to beat the best team in the NBA, they will need to stop two men – Chris Paul and Devin Booker. Both have led the Suns to the best record in the NBA at present – 44-10. It’s worth noting the Suns have only lost 5 games at home all season.
Booker is averaging over 25 points, five rebounds and four assists in 34. minutes per game. He’s shooting 45% from the field, 37% from three and 85% from the foul line. In his last two games, against Philadelphia and Chicago, he has scored 38 ad 35 points. He’s a dangerous man on great form and will certainly test the Bucks.
Booker’s partner in the back court, Chris Paul is having a season to remember for himself. He is leading the league with assists this year, averaging 10.5 a game which is a hell of a stat. That alone shows how much of a team player he is dishing the ball to teammates but it also shows that the Suns are finding many ways to score. Along with his 10 assists, CP3 is averaging a nice 15 points a game on nearly 50% shooting from the field. He also helps on the defensive end where he’s averaging two steals a game.
To keep this simple – CP3 and Booker are a hell of a duo. they are putting on a show every night and are two players that if we can make it tough for them, we can finish this road trip 4-0.
#3: Bobby Portis
Bobby Portis has been a fine replacement for the injured Brook Lopez this season at the Centre position for Milwaukee. Lopez has been out with a back injury since opening night and the Bucks and they have struggled for a back up big with Bobby now in the starting rotation.
Bobby is one of the most loved men on the team by players and fans alike. It’s pretty much impossible not to love him and you regularly hear chants of “BOBBY! BOBBY! BOBBY!” at the Fiserv Forum.
His stats this season are terrific. He has set a career high for three point shots made in a game with six, his season high in points scored is 30 which he had against Portland in game one of this road trip.
If you look season wide, he nearly averaging a double double with 15.6 points and 9.1 rebounds a game. Now yes, he’s started the most amount of games he ever has in his career and is playing career high minutes but he is also producing with those minutes. His points and rebound outputs this season are both career highs. His field goal percentage is the second best in his career as is his 3 point shooting percentage the second highest of his career.
All in all, Bobby Portis has stepped up when Milwaukee needed him to and he has delivered in a big way. If Phoenix want to beat us, they’ll need to find a way to stop Bobby Buckets.
For More Great Wisconsin Sports Content:
Follow me on Twitter @UK_Bucks
and follow us @WiSportsHeroics
for more great content! For the latest in Wisconsin sports, click here
. Also, check out our merch store
for some amazing WSH merchandise!