The 2021 NBA Finals will consist of the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns fighting it out for the honor of calling themselves the best basketball franchise on the planet. However, a significant portion of spectators probably couldn’t believe these two teams would contest the league’s showpiece event.
Getting there this year is one thing, but doing it again is another, as the LA Lakers proved this term. So, whatever happens, the question will inevitably turn to whether either of these rosters can repeat the feat during the 2021/22 season.
Progress vs Inconsistency
The Suns can be classed as both progressive and inconsistent simultaneously. On the one hand, their rankings over the last few years have been lackluster. For example, the franchise finished bottom of the Western Conference in 2018 and 2019, and only managed a tenth-place finish in 2020. Therefore, this year is the first time they have made the post-season since 2010. This fact is both momentous, in that they’ve shown some element of promise, and a little disconcerting, in that there’s no guarantee they’ll keep their form.
However, it could be argued that the team is finally transitioning from one of the worst franchises in the NBA to one that demonstrates the capacity to compete for the foreseeable future. After all, the NBA betting on bet365 has odds of –245 for the Suns as favorites to win the finals, which signifies the belief in the players of the locker room. Still, the proof is in the pudding, and the best way to tell whether the basketball fraternity has any faith in the Suns is to wait and see whether there truly is a chance to go all the way again, or if this campaign is simply a fluke.
Losing Influential Squad Members
The Bucks have a very different story to tell: after all, they’ve been knocking on the door of the NBA Finals for years. In fact, they finished third in the Eastern Conference this season, having won it in 2019 and 2020. The expectation is that they’ll continue to dominate the Eastern Conference as they have in recent years.
Still, there are issues on the horizon such as the defensive tactics the opposition is bound to use to wall off Giannis Antetokounmpo. The “Greek Freak” has spoken about how challenging it is when teams block off the rim to limit his explosive power, particularly as it worked twice in the opening fixtures of the Finals. The Bucks will need to figure out a way to bring others into the game in the regular and postseasons if the Suns set a precedent.
Phoenix Suns assistant Willie Green has emerged as the strong frontrunner and the New Orleans Pelicans’ choice to become the franchise’s next head coach, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 12, 2021
The Suns, meanwhile, have problems of their own because their assistant coach is set to leave after the Finals. Willie Green is due to sign on as head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans, which leaves the Bucks with a dilemma because Green has not only helped mastermind this season’s push but was an assistant under Steve Kerr when the Golden State Warriors won back-to-back titles. Therefore, both franchises must develop solutions for these hurdles regardless of how the NBA Finals end.
Hopefully, the Bucks and Suns can sustain title pushes in upcoming seasons because it will only be healthy for the NBA. We’ll have to wait and see whether they have the mentality to keep dominating.