With Giannis Antetokounmpo suffering from a knee injury, these three Milwaukee Bucks teammates must step up in the 2021 NBA Finals against the Phoenix Suns.
Even though Giannis Antetokounmpo doesn’t play at all in the 2021 NBA Finals against the Phoenix Suns, these three Milwaukee Bucks teammates need to play at an elite level for them to win it.
After sweeping the Miami Heat in the first round, the Bucks needed seven games, then six games to pass the Brooklyn Nets and Atlanta Hawks and reach their first NBA Finals since 1974. Knee injury in Game 4 vs. Atlanta, this group will have to be even better to overthrow Phoenix in the final.
Look for these three Milwaukee starters to step up to make up for Antetokounmpo’s injury.
Milwaukee Bucks: who will intervene in the absence of Giannis Antetokounmpo?
VS Milwaukee dollars
Brook Lopez can be quite the offensive shift in the center position
If there was one constant throughout the Bucks’ series win over Atlanta, it was that Milwaukee could get anything he wanted in the paint. This continued after Antetokounmpo retired in Game 4 of that best-of-seven series. Center Brook Lopez is a player who has risen wonderfully to allow the Bucks to win in six. When he played well against Atlanta, the Bucks dominated the Hawks.
Lopez has always been a talented scorer in the low and middle positions as a traditional return-to-basket center. What has been a pleasant surprise over the past few years is that he has extended his shooting range beyond the arc while wearing the Milwaukee uniform. This made him a rather difficult center to defend for most teams. He has proven he can carry the Bucks offense.
Despite being firmly on the wrong side of the 30-year-old, Lopez could make life difficult for emerging Suns center star Deandre Ayton defensively. While Lopez may not be playing over the edge as much as he did against Atlanta, his impressive shot will allow the Bucks to expand the ground to better attack the Phoenix defense. His offensive versatility will be very important to them.
Lopez may be the Bucks’ third best player every night in this series, but he’s always going to need help.