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Monday, June 5, 2023

How to Watch Live NBA Finals Game 1: Milwaukee Bucks at Phoenix Suns Preview & Betting Odds

How to Watch NBA Finals Game 1: Milwaukee Bucks at Phoenix Suns
Coach Monty Williams and Chris Paul have a long history together going back to their days in the New Orleans Hornets franchise. Can their chemistry lead the Phoenix Suns to their first championship in franchise history? ETIENNE LAURENT/EPA

The will be no Lakers, Warriors, Spurs, Heat or Cavaliers this time around. The best thing about the 2021 NBA Finals is that whomever wins this series, everyone on that roster will be winning their first NBA Championship ring. After a decade of of seemingly non-stop super teams going for just another notch on their already illustrious belts, it’s incredibly refreshing to see franchises that have struggled historically representing in the NBA’s grandest stage.

The Milwaukee Bucks will be making their first appearance since 1974 and will be trying to win their first title since 1971 when Oscar Robertson was on the team and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was known as Lew Alcindor. The Suns have never won a title and they are making their first appearance in the Finals since 1993 when MVP that year Charles Barkley was at the height of his powers. Unfortunately for the Suns, Michael Jordan and the Bulls were at the height of theirs and won that Finals convincingly to complete their first three-peat. Phoenix also lost the 1976 NBA Finals 4-2 to the Boston Celtics who that year won their 13th title. A championship for either of these teams is long overdue.

What TV Channel is Bucks-Suns on?

Bucks-Suns will be shown on ABC at 9:00 p.m. ET. You can live stream NBA games on fuboTV.

How to Watch Bucks-Suns

When: Tuesday, July 6
Time: 9:00 p.m. ET
Live Stream: fuboTV (watch NBA free with fuboTV)

For most of the season, many experts predicted that we’d see the Lakers and Nets in the Finals. Without the plethora of injuries occurring this year, those experts might have been on to something. There will be a lot of hoopla or calls for an asterisk if the Suns win this year, after beating the Lakers without a healthy Anthony Davis, the Nuggets without a healthy Jamal Murray and the Clippers without a healthy Kawhi Leonard. But all of those calls are irrelevant.

No one is taking away the Raptors win in 2019 away from them when they beat the Golden State Warriors without Kevin Durant. No one is taking away the 2020 Lakers championship when everyone said there should be an asterisk because they won in a bubble. The Suns and Bucks are great teams and they won with the circumstances presented to them. A win is a win and both Milwaukee and Phoenix are here because they are great. Full stop.

Let’s delve into how good Phoenix is who is slightly favored (-180) to win this series. While they are the fourth smallest favorites entering the Finals since 2000 (’06 Mavericks -150 Lost, ’14 Spurs -155 Won, ’12 Thunder -175 Lost) they have been on an absolute tear after the games resumed in the NBA Bubble right before last year’s playoffs. The growth of this team has skyrocketed much faster than anyone anticipated. Even with Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton they just weren’t a good team. The Bubble and Chris Paul changed all of that.

Before the Bubble the Suns record was 26-39. They went 8-0 in the Bubble which was probably the tipping point of why Paul requested from the Thunder that he be traded to Phoenix. The move paid off like gangbusters as The Valley is 51-21 since that trade and 11-3 in the playoffs. They’ve simply been unstoppable in these playoffs and many would be elated to see one of the best point guards in Paul win his first NBA Championship at the age of 36.

Milwaukee will have something to say about all of that though and they are no slouch even if Giannis Antetokounmpo misses a few games. He went out of the Eastern Conference Finals with a knee injury in Game 4 and is deemed questionable for Game 1 of the Finals. He was listed as doubtful leading up to this series after the Bucks clinched a birth after beating the Atlanta Hawks. If the story of Durant in those 2019 Finals is any indication, Antetokounmpo shouldn’t rush it and take his time coming back.

Luckily for the Bucks, they played tremendously in Games 5 and 6 with Khris Middleton leading the way. Giannis’ absence inspired the best out of everyone with Jrue Holiday coming out of slump to score a combined 60 in those two games. Bobby Portis, who was non-existent in their series against the Nets, filled in admirably in the 2x MVP’s place.

Of course though you want your best player no matter the circumstances. All the Bucks need is to steal one game in Phoenix and maybe getting Giannis back when the Finals move back to Milwaukee for Game 3 might be the best course. Whatever happens though it’s nice to have a matchup where no player on the Suns or the Bucks has an NBA championship. Let the Finals begin.

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Phoenix Suns  Betting Odds

Bucks Odds: 5.5
Suns Odds: -5.5
Money Line: Bucks +190 – Suns -220
Over/Under: 219.5

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