Isiah Thomas Explains How Milwaukee Bucks Could Have Avoided Losing NBA Finals Game 2 vs Phoenix Suns

Published 07/09/2021, 6:30 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


The Phoenix Suns were once again, too hot to handle for the Milwaukee Bucks. It’s a pattern that is becoming evident in which the Suns come up so big in the second half, that the Bucks are left far behind. And Giannis Antetokounmpo was not the problem today, in fact, his historic performance should have led them to a win. So, what went wrong? Looks like Isiah Thomas knows where the Bucks messed up.

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Why the Phoenix Suns walked away with a win

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Given, the Bucks were not the worst tonight. They had a lead in the first quarter, which had Milwaukee fans energized. But once the Suns took the lead, the Bucks could not recover from it.

Giannis made constant attempts to cut it down but it only made the Suns more motivated to do better, especially Devin Booker and Chris Paul who already convinced everyone in the fourth quarter that they would take home the win. However, is there anything the Milwaukee Bucks could have done to prevent this?

Isiah Thomas seems to think so. He said, “Milwaukee did go to their bread and butter. You know, Lopez is a great post-up center, an All-star post-up center. For the whole night, he is playing against smaller players. And when you need easy baskets, you got to go to those matchups. One, they help you score but two, they get the opposing team in foul trouble.”

Thomas also explained that they could have also had Jrue Holiday do this job. “I think Milwaukee missed a great opportunity to win the game tonight by underutilizing those two players.”

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Can the Milwaukee Bucks make their comeback?

To be able to make a comeback after the opposing team takes a 3-0 lead rarely happens. And if the Phoenix Suns win Game 3, consider the Bucks out of the race for the NBA Finals, unless a miracle takes place.

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The Bucks can go two ways. Either they make Giannis Antetokounmpo play all of 48 minutes, which is risky business. They can’t afford to cause any long-term injury to his knee as he is still recovering. Or Giannis continues to do his part by getting breaks and the supporting cast gives him surety that he can rely on them. Because that’s all the Bucks need to get a better shot at staying alive in the series.

Jul 8, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) reacts during the 118-108 loss against the Phoenix Suns in game two of the 2021 NBA Finals at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Both the Bucks and Suns are standing at a crucial stage for their franchise. The Bucks might be letting their first title since 1971 slip away, while the Suns are working towards grabbing the first championship their franchise has seen. Which one of them will leave with their dreams crushed? And which of them will leave with everything they could ever want? Stay tuned for Game 3 to find out.

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Yashima Bhatia

1329 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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