Updated: Jan 14
For this post, we will look at each team and their odds to win the title:
Milwaukee Bucks (+150)
Key Players: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday
We purposefully left Giannis on the list of key players. His health status will be key if the Bucks want to have any chance to beat these Suns. If Giannis is unable to play, then the Bucks will need Khris Middleton and All-NBA Defensive First Team guard Jrue Holiday playing their best on a nightly basis. Although Middleton and Holiday played an excellent second half in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Trae Young-less Hawks, their slow starts will not be enough to beat this much more talented Suns team. This Finals matchup is extremely hard to predict without knowing the status of Antetokounmpo. One thing we can say for certain is that this Bucks franchise which battled through 47 long years to get back to the finals will do whatever it takes to win it, even if it means finding a new identity.
Phoenix Suns (-177)
Key Players: Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton
The stars seem to be aligning for veteran point guard Chris Paul. Skipping over Paul’s early days with the Hornets, his long tenure with the Clippers, a deep run with the Rockets, and a very unwelcomed stop in Oklahoma City, Paul seems to have found the right mix of young talent who will listen to his loud brand of leadership. More to that end, these playoffs could not have gone any better for Paul. The Suns opened up against an injured Lakers team that was missing star big man Anthony Davis, then they beat a a Nuggets team that was missing point guard Jamal Murray, and finally they beat the Clippers after they lost Kawhi Leonard for the season. Still, this Suns team looks completely different than the young unorganized group that celebrated Booker scoring a bunch of points in a loss. Chris Paul has changed the culture and young future stars Booker and Ayton have benefitted greatly. Now, CP3 will make his first trip to the Finals to play against a Bucks team that looks to be without back-to-back league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. Sometimes, a little luck is all you need and Chris Paul seems to have saved all of his for this one dream run.
*Please do not mistake our opinions expressed here as our picks for any of the games in the series. We will post all picks for each and every game in the Game Picks section of the website.
**Odds accurate at time of posting
***Also, let us know if you like this Finals preview! Would you want to see more previews like this in the future?