“Can’t Be Stopped”: Former NBA Champion Reveals Milwaukee Bucks’ Key to Winning NBA Finals vs Phoenix Suns

Published 07/19/2021, 2:16 AM EDT
Jul 6, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) is defended by Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez (11) and guard Jrue Holiday (21) during the first half in game one of the 2021 NBA Finals at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports


Milwaukee Bucks are now 1 win away from becoming NBA champions, in what will be their first championship since 1971. They beat Phoenix Suns 123-119 in a final second thriller and now head to Milwaukee for the deciding game. Now, Giannis and his men will look to continue the momentum and wrap up the series at home.

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It was the resurgence of Jrue Holiday that was key to Milwaukee’s Game 5 win at Phoenix. He finished with 27 points, 13 assists and 3 steals to his name. Moreover, he arguably had the game-winning play as he stripped the ball off Devin Booker in the last seconds of the game.

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Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton have been the highlight of these playoffs for the Milwaukee Bucks. They have played well because of which Milwaukee Bucks see themselves 3-2 up in the finals. However, former Celtic Brian Scalabrine believes otherwise.

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Scalabrine says Jrue Holiday is key for winning

NBA Champion Brian Scalabrine said that Jrue Holiday is going to be key for Milwaukee Bucks’ success. Moreover, he added how Milwaukee Bucks are unpredictable and a rollercoaster of a team. He said:

“The things about the Bucks is they are such a rollercoaster. You saw them in the first quarter, they came out flat, played one on one. And, then they got to the ball movement. Here is the key, you mention Middleton, you mention Giannis. The key to that team is Jrue Holiday. Jrue Holiday, elite defensively and he has been throughout the entire NBA finals. But, if he is giving you hat he gave you on the offensive end, the Milwaukee Bucks can’t be stopped. But, usually he plays well when the ball moves.”

Jrue was certainly the reason for the Milwaukee Bucks winning last night. He was elite on both ends of the floor, shooting 60% from the field and locking up every player. Defensively, he is arguably the most important piece for the Milwaukee Bucks.

However, when he gets his offense going, it gives the Bucks another option to score. Until now, the main scorers were just Giannis and Khris. But, if Jrue can continue this aggression on the offensive end, the true potential of the Bucks’ trio shows out.

Jul 17, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) shoots the ball as Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) defends in the first half during game five of the 2021 NBA Finals at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Is Jrue Holiday really the key for Milwaukee Bucks?

Jrue was on song last game. In their 123-119 win, he was everywhere on the court. He was shooting the three, going to the rim, and making it difficult for Phoenix to focus on the chief man, Giannis.

This was only the second time that Holiday shot over 50% in these finals for Milwaukee Bucks. In Game 3, he shot 57% and the Milwaukee Bucks ended up winning convincingly.

Jul 17, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) passes the ball in front of Milwaukee Bucks guard Jrue Holiday (21) during game five of the 2021 NBA Finals at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

However, Holiday has been struggling offensively throughout the series. He came off a 4-20 night in Game 4. He is averaging only 40% from the field.

In addition, he takes around 20 shots per game for the Milwaukee Bucks. Holiday is not a reliable scorer for the deers. However, his defensive presence makes up for that.

As his priority is strong defense, he is able to make game-changing contributions through it.

Jul 17, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) attempts to control the ball as Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) defends in the first half during game five of the 2021 NBA Finals at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton are the top scorers for Milwaukee. Off the bench, Pat Connaughton has been on fire as he has the most threes in these NBA finals. Bobby Portis has also added reasonable points and can dominate due to his size.

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To sum it up, the Milwaukee Bucks need Holiday to perform defensively while giving them an efficient night on the offensive end. Holiday will look to continue his form back at home and help Milwaukee become a city of champions once again.

WATCH THIS STORY–  Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Most Heated Playoff Moments

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Anuj Talwalkar

142 articles

Anuj Talwalkar is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He is a student studying at NM College in Mumbai, aspiring to pursue sports management to follow his love for sports. Anuj started following the NBA last year, and he loves to combine his passion for writing with his understanding of basketball.

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