On Thursday night, the Phoenix Suns will play host to the Milwaukee Bucks for Game 2 of the NBA Finals.
Let’s take a closer look at the top Bucks vs. Suns Game 2 player prop picks and make some predictions for this July 8, 2021 NBA Finals matchup.
Bucks vs. Suns Player Prop Picks (NBA Finals Game 2)
If Game 1 of the NBA Finals is any indication of what’s to come in this series, the Bucks are going to need to make a number of adjustments to avoid an embarrassingly short series. Despite the return of two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks fell 118-105 in a game that never really felt as close as the final score would indicate. One has to wonder if the late clearance of Giannis to play may have thrown off his team’s game plan after having won each of their two previous games in closing out the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference Finals without him.
The Bucks were led in Game 1 by a 29-point performance from Khris Middleton, who shot 12-26 from the field. Those 26 field goal attempts were 12 more than the second-highest total –Brook Lopez and Jrue Holiday each attempted 14– and more than double that of Antetokounmpo (11). Giannis got to the line a game-high 12 times, converting on seven of his free throw attempts en route to a 20-point showing. Brook Lopez (17) and Jrue Holiday (10) were the remaining Bucks to score in double figures.
The Suns looked every bit like the favorite they had been installed as by the oddsmakers ahead of the series, getting excellent performances from their starters and solid contributions from their bench. They appear to be as formidable of an opponent as the Bucks have come across this postseason. The backcourt duo of Chris Paul and Devin Booker combined for 59 points, while center Deandre Ayton dropped 22 of own. Mikal Bridges (14), Cameron Johnson (10), and Cameron Payne (10) all put up double-digit points in the 13-point victory.
Will the Bucks be able to pull off a road victory in Game 2 or will the Suns take a commanding 2-0 lead as the series heads to Milwaukee?
|Game 6 Best Bets|
|Jrue Holiday to Score 20+ Points (-120, BetMGM)|
|Devin Booker to Score 30+ Points and Make 3+ Three-Pointers (+220, FanDuel Sportsbook)|
|Pat Connaughton to Make Over 1.5 Three-Point Field Goals (-222, FOX Bet)|
Chris Paul to Score Over 22.5 Points (-104, FanDuel Sportsbook)
Despite being in his 16th season, Chris Paul is appearing in the first NBA Finals of his career. You would never know it based on how he performed ing Game 1. CP3 didn’t appear to be fazed by the uptick in intensity and urgency brought by appearing in the Finals.
41 PTS. 31 in the 2nd half. Advances to his first #NBAFinals presented by YouTube TV.
— NBA (@NBA) July 1, 2021
Paul shot 12-19 from the field, including 4-7 from beyond the arc en route to 32 points. He dished out 9 assists, pulled down 4 rebounds, and even recorded a steal in his team’s Game 1 victory. That performance marked the third consecutive game in which Paul scored at least 22 points. Overall, CP3 has put up at least 22 points in five of his last seven games. In his last three games, Paul averaged 31.7 points per game.
Considering the fact that CP3 averaged 25 points per game in two regular season matchups against the Bucks, it stands to reason he’ll go for 23+ points in Game 2 at home.
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Giannis Antetokounmpo to Make Over 3.5 Dunks (+250, FOX Bet)
Giannis Antetokounmpo defied the odds in Game 1, making it into the lineup after hyperextending his knee in Game 4 of the Bucks’ Eastern Conference Finals series against the Atlanta Hawks. Even more impressive was the explosive nature of Giannis’ play. In fact, Antetokounmpo recorded the most dunks he’s had over his last four contests:
- Game 2 v. ATL: 0 dunks (11-18 FG)
- Game 3 @ ATL: 2 dunks (13-21 FG)
- Game 4 @ ATL: 2 dunks (7-10 FG)
- Game 1 @ PHX: 3 dunks (6-11 FG)
It’s worth noting that Giannis jammed home an astounding seven dunks in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Hawks, though that gaudy number appears to be a bit of an outlier. However, Antetokounmpo’s ability to get into the paint for a number of dunks against the Suns this year has been notable:
- 2/10/21: 5 dunks (15-23)
- 4/19/21: 3 dunks (12-22)
Player prop offerings built around two-time league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo often cost more than they’re worth as he’s one of the most physically gifted players on the planet. However, the boosted +250 offered by FOX Bet on this one cannot be overlooked. It’s not a sure thing to happen, but it’s worth taking a flier on.
Deandre Ayton to Record Over 29.5 Combined Points and Rebounds (-110, BetMGM)
Lost in the number of storylines coming out of Game 1 –especially those about Chris Paul and Devin Booker– was the absolute dominance of Suns center Deandre Ayton. Ayton was an absolute beast on the boards, pulling down 19 rebounds while terrorizing the Bucks’ interior defense to the tune of 22 points.
Ayton’s Game 1 showing marked his eleventh-consecutive game with at least 10 points and his fourth-consecutive game with at least 11 rebounds. Over his last six games, Ayton has averaged 18.2 points and 15.3 rebounds per game.
Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer will certainly need to install some different defensive looks if his team is to slow down Ayton. Until that happens, expect Ayton to continue putting up big games as Milwaukee focuses their attention on the Suns backcourt duo of Paul and Booker.
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