The Phoenix Suns have lost three straight games to the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA Finals after taking a 2-0 series lead. They will need to play better in Game 6 to force a Game 7 back in Phoenix. The Suns led by 16 at the end of the 1st quarter but proceeded to play atrocious defense the rest of the game.
The Bucks big three dominated in Game 5 with no answer from the Suns. Giannis Antetokounmpo went for 32 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists, including a key alley-oop dunk. While Giannis was impressive, the real hero of the game was Jrue Holiday. Holiday had 27 points, 13 assists, and 3 steals. He had the biggest play of the game when he stole the ball from Devin Booker and proceeded to throw an alley-oop to Giannis to clinch the game.
The Suns must make adjustments, especially defensively, to win Game 6. Here are 5 things the Suns must do to force an NBA Finals Game 7.
Suns Game 6 keys:
5. Limit Bucks 3-point shots
The Bucks had a barrage of three-pointers in Game 5 on high efficiency. They made 14 of them on 50 percent shooting from behind the arc. If the Suns are going to have a shot going forward, they need to limit the three-point shots.
The Bucks are only shooting 32.4 percent from three in the playoffs but erupted in Game 5. It’s time for the Suns to get back to the basics. They need to close out on every play to force tougher shots.
4. Continue to feed Booker
To keep the offensive production going in Game 6 the Suns will need to feed Booker. Booker has continued to produce through the postseason even during the losses. He has dropped 40 plus points in each of the last two games, carrying the offensive load.
The Suns need to continue getting him involved while also allowing him to make plays for others.
3. Get Chris Paul going early
The biggest adjustment the Suns can make offensively is getting Paul going early. Paul is the floor general for the Suns and is one of the best passers in NBA history. Although he is a great playmaker, he is also a fantastic scorer.
The Suns need to get Paul going as a scorer early and often. He doesn’t shoot the ball much until the end of the game, which needs to change in Game 6.
2. Keep a secondary defender at the rim
One of the biggest problems defensively was Giannis getting one on one matchups. The Suns need to prioritize having a second defender at the rim to protect the paint. Whether it’s Deandre Ayton or Jae Crowder, this is an issue the Suns will need to address.
1. Limit Holiday or Middleton
It’s hard enough to stop Giannis but it’s even tougher when Holiday and Middleton get going. A big key in Game 6 will be limiting one of these players. It’s asking a lot to limit both of them, which is why they need to shut down one of them.
Putting a ton of pressure and throwing multiple defenders at these guys is the best way to limit them.
Game 6 is bound to be one for the ages as the series heads to Milwaukee. The Bucks have the shot to win the championship in front of their fans while the Suns fight to stay alive. Chris Paul’s legacy is on the line in this series and he will need to step up in game 6.
If the Suns can make these adjustments, they could force a Game 7.