The Bucks backs to the wall: under 0-2 with the Suns, at the Fiserv Forum they can no longer make mistakes. Middleton: “We have not lost faith and we believe in ourselves”
In Milwaukee, only the NBA Finals seem to exist. The whole city is accompanying the journey of Giannis and his companions with incredible enthusiasm who now, after the two defeats received in Phoenix, can no longer make mistakes. Not even the rain, scheduled for Sunday evening, will stop the procession of fans in the now mythological “Deer District”, the area next to the Fiserv Forum used as a gigantic “viewing party”, and the police expect the presence of about 30,000 people on Sunday.
The change of pace
However, enthusiasm is not enough, Milwaukee needs a decisive change of pace and to find a minimum support at the attacking level for a Giannis who seems to have put behind the injury suffered in race-4 of the Eastern Conference Final in Atlanta. The Bucks had already found themselves in a similar situation against Brooklyn, under two to zero and close to the abyss, then things changed dramatically, beyond Kyrie Irving’s injury. All right, but looking at the recent past is not enough to find reasons for optimism. Without a solid attacking contribution from Middleton and Holiday, Milwaukee cannot hope to return to the series. Too fluctuating in these first two games of the Finals the pair of Bucks, with Middleton who shot from the field 17/42 and with an even more disappointing 11/35 Holiday. Merciless numbers that put too much pressure on an Antetokounmpo that not even scoring 42 points can tame the Suns. “Many had thought that our season would come to an end after the 0-2 with the Nets – underlines Khris Middleton – we have not lost confidence and we believe in ourselves, sometimes even a bad victory is enough, as in game-3 against Brooklyn, to change the direction of a series. Now we just have to concentrate on the single match ”.
Phoenix, for its part, absolutely does not want to lower the tension. A success in Sunday’s match would practically deliver the Larry O’Brien Trophy to the Arizona team. The leader Chris Paul is well aware of this as he keeps his companions on the tightrope. “Sunday is the most important match of the season for us – says CP3 – we have to win it at all costs, we have to enter the field with the right mental attitude, knowing that the Bucks are in front of their audience and they will feel more free mentally. We must be hungry ”. The pick and roll of Phoenix remains a taboo for the defense of Milwaukee who in race-2 then conceded too many triples to the Suns, also ruining several good defensive possessions with bad readings after Phoenix’s ball movement on the perimeter. Monty Williams’ problem, however, is called Torrey Craig, who came out battered from race-2. Major damage to the right knee avoided, and this is the best news possible, but the player will hardly recover for game-3, a rotation that had already lost a reliable back-up like Dario Saric will then have to deal with another probable defection .
July 11 – 08:31
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