The Milwaukee Bucks were written off by most after losing the first two games of the NBA Finals.
Now they are one win away from clinching a championship.
The Bucks have an opportunity to lift the Larry O’Brien Trophy with a win over the Phoenix Suns in Game 6 at the Fiserv Forum tonight.
Teams that have gone up 3-2 in the NBA Finals have won the series 81 per cent of the time.
All signs point towards Giannis Antetokounmpo and company clinching in front of their home fans in Milwaukee tonight.
Here is the Morning Coffee for Tuesday July 20, 2021.
Bucks can clinch championship tonight
The Bucks are the fourth team in NBA Finals history to go down 2-0 and win the next three games. Two of the previous three went on to win the title.
Milwaukee’s 123-119 win over Phoenix in Game 5 marked the first time in the series that either team won as the visitor.
It’s also the first time that either team won as an underdog.
Now the Bucks get a chance to clinch at home, where they are 9-1 this postseason.
Whether it’s their lights-out shooting numbers, transition offence, or second-chance scoring stats, Milwaukee has completely flipped the narrative of the series with three straight wins.
Oddsmakers have taken notice.
The Bucks went from +135 to -400 to win the championship following their win in Game 5.
Milwaukee, which opened as a 3.5-point favourite for Games 3 and 4, opened at -5 for Game 6 and that number hasn’t moved.
The Suns’ inability to respond on their home floor in Game 5 makes it that much more difficult to imagine them figuring out the answer in a building that the Bucks have been at their best in throughout these playoffs.
I’m not about to write off Phoenix now the way that I did Milwaukee after Game 2. Still, I have a tough time envisioning a scenario in which the Suns are able to force a Game 7.
Giannis in rare territory
If the Bucks clinch the title tonight, it’s very likely that Giannis will be named NBA Finals MVP.
Antetokounmpo opened the series at +375 to win that award.
At the time, Milwaukee was a championship underdog and there was plenty of uncertainty surrounding his injury status.
Fast-forward a couple of weeks, and Giannis is the overwhelming favourite to win MVP at -400.
Coming off his third straight game with at least 26 points, nine rebounds and six assists, Antetokounmpo could become the third player in NBA history to win a league MVP (2), Defensive Player of the Year, an NBA title and a Finals MVP.
The only players to pull off that feat? Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon.
Khris Middleton has been excellent and I’ve seen some comment that he could be a sleeper pick to win Finals MVP. I’m not buying it.
Antetokounmpo should be a lock to win Finals MVP if the Bucks clinch.
3M Open Preps
In the afterglow of Collin Morikawa’s brilliant performance at the Open Championship, the PGA Tour heads to TPC Twin Cities for the 3M Open this week.
Dustin Johnson is the betting favourite at +700.
He’ll face some tough competition with Tony Finau (+1400), Louis Oosthuizen (+1400) and Patrick Reed (+1800) right behind him at the top of the board.
After he called Collin Morikawa’s victory at last week’s Open Championship, Michael Harrison revealed his First Look At The Field for this week’s 3M Open on Monday night.
You can check out who he likes this week below.