The Milwaukee Bucks have won the 2021 NBA Finals after toppling the Phoenix Suns 105-98 in Game 6 of the Finals. The Bucks rallied to win four straight games (Games 3 through 6) after losing the first two games of the series. The championship marks the Bucks’ first in 50 years, last winning the Finals in 1971. (That 1971 team was led by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robinson, and swept the Baltimore Bullets 4-0.)
Giannis Antetokounmpo has been named the 2021 Finals MVP after what was a stellar performance across the six games. Giannis averaged 35.2 points, 13,2 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1,2 steals, and 1.8 blocks per game for the series. In the series-winning Game 6, Giannis dropped 50 points on 16 of 25 from the field (17 of 19 FT) while adding 14 rebounds, 2 assists, and 5 blocks.
As a fan, I’m happy for former Sixer Jrue Holiday, one of the league’s most overlooked and underrated stars. Jrue spent seven years with the New Orleans Pelicans, a team that had been poorly managed for a long time, before being traded to the Bucks prior to the start of the 2020-21 season. Perfect timing (and no coincidence).
On the other hand, I hurt for our boy, former Sixer Dario Saric. Not only did his squad lose the Finals, but Dario tore his ACL in Game 1. I also feel bad for Chris Paul. Paul is now 36 years old and this is the closest he’s ever come to winning a Finals. He’s under contract with the Suns for another season, and aside from Paul, the team is young so they are likely to get even better. But a lot has to break a team’s way to make the Finals, and if Paul does not manage to return to the Finals, he’ll go down as one of the league’s greatest players to never claim a championship.
But again, the Suns are young and will only get better. All in all, I’d feel pretty damn proud of my team and excited for the future if I supported Phoenix. Not only do they have talented players, they’ve got a hell of a coach in Monty Williams.
Speaking of young talent, Giannis is only 26 years old. LeBron James, for comparison, did not win his first Finals until he was 27 years old. Could this be the start of a dominant run for Milwaukee, or might the Sixers have something to say about that? Tune in next season to find out.