We have a maximum of three games left in the NBA season. Those rooting for more basketball got their wish, as the Milwaukee Bucks won both games at home to send the series back to Phoenix tied at 2-2. That ensures that we have at least two more games, but the way the series has gone, it could very well be three.
That is because the home team is 4-0 in the NBA Finals. The Suns jumped out to a 2-0 lead and the Bucks countered by defending Fiserv Forum. We’re back in Phoenix for Game 5 on Saturday night and the Suns are back in the favorite role at -3.5 or -4, depending on the book, with a total of 218.5.
As always, shop around for the best line on the game. We have reviewed a lot of sportsbooks here at ATS.io. If you like Phoenix and can get -3.5, that is better than -4. If you like Milwaukee and can get +4, that would be better than +3.5. It is in your best interest to get the best number that you can.
Just as one example, check out FanDuel Sportsbook, where the Bet $5, Win $150 promotion is still active for the NBA Finals and where you can choose to take that bonus opportunity or get a Risk-Free Bet up to $1,000.
Cloudy Skies for the Suns
Extra possessions were a big talking point in the write-up prior to Game 4. They wound up being a huge part of the game, as Phoenix turned the ball over 17 times and Milwaukee only committed five turnovers. The Suns lost by six.
Who knows what would have happened if Phoenix took better care of the ball. Devin Booker had a huge game going 17-of-28 from the floor and the Suns shot 51.3%. That was certainly good enough to win. They only took 78 shots. The Bucks took 97 shots. Milwaukee had 12 fewer turnovers and also 12 more offensive rebounds.
Those extra possessions proved to be the difference in the game. If the Suns take better care of the rock, much like they did in Game 1 and Game 2, they’ll have a chance to win the Larry O’Brien Trophy in Game 6.
Fourth Quarter Fun
The Bucks trailed by six going into the fourth quarter of Game 4. They won the game by six points. The 33-21 fourth quarter proved to be the difference in the game. Furthermore, the Bucks only covered for 19 seconds, dealing a bad beat to the underdog bettors. Milwaukee had eight offensive rebounds in the final quarter and had one turnover to Phoenix’s five.
Otherwise, the game was right there for the taking for the Suns. How does that impact the handicap going into Game 5? Milwaukee looks to have played a good game based on the outcome, but it seems like that wasn’t really the case at all. The Bucks played a good quarter and won.
Right Down the Middle-ton
Khris Middleton had 40 points in Game 4. He had 18 in Game 3. Middleton’s 58 points on 21-of-47 shooting were a sight for sore eyes for the Bucks. Giannis Antetokounmpo has had a monster series, but Middleton’s improved play in the two games in Milwaukee made all the difference.
Middleton and Giannis combined for 76 points in Game 4. The five Suns started accounted for 80 points and Devin Booker had more than have of those. The stars are going to get theirs, but the complementary scorers have to get theirs, too. Middleton was so much better in the two games at home that the series is now tied and his confidence level has to be higher.
Concerns About Chris
Chris Paul doesn’t seem right. Paul was spectacular in Game 1 with 32 points on 12-of-19 shooting. He only had two turnovers. In the three games since, Paul has 52 points and 15 turnovers. Deandre Ayton has not been as effective in the series and Jae Crowder and Mikal Bridges take turns being invisible.
Paul has to be better for the Suns in Game 5 and in the remaining games in this series. Maybe he can’t be. Maybe there is an injury situation here in some form. Whatever the case, he’s going to have to find a way to at least take better care of the basketball, even if he can’t be as effective.
Game 5 Preview – Bucks vs. Suns
The Suns played poorly in Game 3, but they could have won Game 4. The Bucks did what they needed to do, but it is fair to wonder if they can flip the script from the first two games in Phoenix. Giannis continues to play huge minutes on a bum leg, but the secret to success for the Bucks has been Middleton and the extra possessions.
Phoenix will keep losing on the offensive glass, but the Suns cannot afford to keep turning the ball over. Phoenix has committed 52 turnovers in the four games with 31 of those turnovers in the last two games. That is the ultimate key to Saturday night’s game.
Bucks vs. Suns Game 5 Pick
While the side is what most people will focus on, how about a look at the total? The Suns scored 118 points in both games at home by taking great care of the basketball. They scored 100 and 103 points in the two games in Milwaukee. The total has been adjusted down to 218.5 here based on the last two games, but that ignores what happened in the first two.
It seems like an overadjustment, so the over 218.5 is the official pick.