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SPORTS SHORTS 163: PHOENIX SUNS BATTLE MILWAUKEE BUCKS IN THE NBA FINALS


PhilBoxing.com




The Phoenix Suns will battle the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA Finals starting Tuesday (Wednesday Philippine time) with the Suns taking the homecourt advantage with a 51-21 record compared to the Bucks with 46-26.

* * *

The Suns finished second in the Western conference regular season behind the Utah Jazz with 52-20. The Bucks placed third in the Eastern conference after the Philadelphia 76ers with 49-23 and Brooklyn Nets with 48-24.

* * *

In the playoffs, Suns dethroned the Los Angeles Lakers, 4-2, in the first round. They blanked the Denver Nuggets, 4-0, in the second round. Then in the Western Conference finals, they lorded over Los Angeles Clippers, 4-2.

* * *

On the other hand, the Bucks swept last year's losing finalist Miami Heat, 4-0, in the first round. In the second round, they surprised the league favorites Brooklyn Nets, 4-3. In the Eastern Conference finals, they outsmarted the Atlanta Hawks, 4-2.

* * *

Chris Paul played in 11 All-Star Games and appeared in 10 All-NBA Teams and nine All-Defensive Teams. He was the 2006 Rookie of the Year in 2006 and was able to lead the NBA in assists four times and steals six times. He was an NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player in 2013.

* * *

Paul won two Olympic gold medals in 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Games. He's now 36, but he can still perform as a franchise player of a team. But after 16 NBA seasons, he still miss a championship ring and Paul has reached the Finals for the very first time. This season could be it.

* * *

Giannis Antetokounmpo is officially listed as doubtful for Game 1 on the injury report released by the Bucks. The two-time MVP suffered a hyperextended left knee in Game 4 of the series against the Hawks, and although there is no structural damage reported, he hasn't played since that game.

* * *

The Phoenix Suns won their two games against the Milwaukee Bucks and were very close by the smallest margin. They won 125-124 at home on February 10 when Antetokounmpo topscored a season-high 47 points but missed a jumper at the buzzer. Devin Booker scored 30 points and Chris Paul contributed 28 points.

* * *

Then the Suns squeezed out a 128-127 victory in Milwaukee on April 19 when Booker sank a free throw being fouled by P.J. Tucker with 0.3 seconds remaining in overtime. Four Suns’ starters scored more than 20 points for balanced offense.

* * *

Both Suns and Bucks joined the National Basketball Association at the same time, as expansion teams together in 1968. The Suns posted a first season record of 16-66, worst in the league that time.

* * *

But in 1968, no Lottery was done, and the NBA had a toss coin between the worst team in the Western Conference which was the Suns and the worst team in the Eastern Conference which was the Bucks.

* * *

The Suns lost the toss coin on March 19, 1969 to the Bucks. The Bucks take at number one draft pick Lew Alcindor who was later named Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He and Oscar Robertson led the Bucks to their first and only championship in 1971 when they swept the Baltimore Bullets in the NBA Finals.

* * *

Kareem would lead Milwaukee to the Finals again in 1974, only to lose in seven games to John Havlicek and the Boston Celtics who played in the Western Conference then.

* * *

Milwaukee has waited longer than the Suns to play in the Finals again. The 1974 championship was the last time the Bucks played for a title. Abdul-Jabbar was traded to the Lakers and the Lakers built a dynasty. The Bucks waited 47 years to return to the NBA Finals.

* * *

During the 2020-21 regular season the Phoenix Suns defeated the Milwaukee Bucks twice, winning by one point on both occasions. In recent years, the Suns are 5-1 versus Milwaukee in games in which Deandre Ayton has played.

* * *

Before this year's title series, the Suns' only Finals appearances were in 1976 and 1993. They lost in six games on both championships, first to the Boston Celtics and then to the Chicago Bulls. They are one of 11 teams without an NBA title, and the oldest team on the list at 53 years.

* * *

NBA Finals schedule :
Game 1: Bucks at Suns on Tuesday, July 6 (Wednesday, July 7, Philippine time)
Game 2: Bucks at Suns on Thursday, July 8 (Friday, July 9, Philippine time)
Game 3: Suns at Bucks on Sunday, July 11 (Monday, July 12, Philippine time)
Game 4: Suns at Bucks on Wednesday, July 14 (Thursday, July 15, Philippine time)
Game 5*: Bucks at Suns on Saturday, July 17 (Sunday, July 18, Philippine time)
Game 6*: Suns at Bucks on Tuesday, July 20 (Wednesday, July 21, Philippine time)
Game 7*: Bucks at Suns on Thursday, July 22 (Friday, July 23, Philippine time)
*If necessary

* * *

Promoter Lou DiBella, who previously was associated with Deontay Wilder, commented that the fighter's career is at risk in the scheduled trilogy fight with WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury. Wilder fought Fury to a controversial twelve round split draw in December 1, 2018. Fury went down twice during that fight.

* * *

They clashed for a second time in February 22, 2020, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. This time, it was Fury who dominated the match, downed Wilder two times and stopped him in seven rounds.

* * *

“Look, his career is on the line, and he knows it. I mean, if he gets smoked again by Fury, where does he go? He’s no longer among the elite in the heavyweight division," DiBella told Secondsout.

* * *

The final four men’s basketball teams in the Tokyo Olympic Games were determined Sunday, as the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament finals ended.

* * *

The Czech Republic won the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Canada, and will join the United States, France and Iran in Group A in Tokyo.

* * *

Germany won the tournament in Croatia, joins Italy, which eliminated the hosts to win the tournament in Serbia, along with Australia and Nigeria in Group B.

* * *

Slovenia, which won the first final game in Lithuania, will round out Group C, which includes Argentina, Japan and Spain.

* * *

Results of the four Olympic Qualifying tournament finals:
Kaunas, Lithuania: Slovenia 96, Lithuania 85
Split, Croatia: Germany 75, Brazil 64
Belgrade, Serbia: Italy 102, Serbia 95
Victoria, Canada: Czech Republic 97, Greece 72


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.


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