By Greg Frank
#2 Phoenix Suns vs. #3 Milwaukee Bucks
Milwaukee leads series 3-2 (Game 6: Tuesday at 9:00 PM ET on ABC)
Analysis: The Bucks have seized control of the NBA Finals after their third straight win in the series on Saturday night in the desert. They’ll go for their second NBA title in franchise history and first in 50 years on Tuesday night. In writing these handicaps, we’ve tried all playoffs to attack things from a situational standpoint and the spot could not check out better for the home chalk tonight.
The Bucks erased a 2-0 series deficit earlier in the playoffs against Brooklyn. Milwaukee also lost Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals against Atlanta. So this marks the third straight playoff round in which the Bucks have trailed at any point of the series. The Bucks have also gone 9-1 straight-up and 7-3 against the spread at home in the playoffs. They’ve always relied on what seems to be a pretty strong home court advantage to fight back.
Phoenix only trailed in one of its three playoff series in the Western Conference and it was all the way back in the first round against a Lakers team that folded as the series went along. Tonight marks the first game of the entire postseason in which the Suns are facing elimination. In other words, the Suns haven’t faced nearly the same kind of adversity to get to this point that the Bucks have. Who steps up tonight for the Suns with their backs against the wall? I’m not sure I have that answer and quite frankly, if Phoenix gets punched in the gut early, I have no clue how it will respond with all the momentum in the series and the crowd tonight on Milwaukee’s side. It may sound simple, but at the end of the day you have to have the belief within your locker room that you’re going to win at this time of year. I’m not sure that exists with Phoenix anymore. This has all the makings of another playoff disappointment for Chris Paul.
Best Bet: Bucks -5