PHOENIX — You know the story -- the Suns haven’t been to the NBA Finals since 1993, and the Bucks haven’t been to the Finals since 1974 (when they lost to the Celtics in seven games), and their only NBA title came back in 1971 when the Bucks swept the Baltimore Bullets.
So, let’s be honest, it’s been a long time for both teams!
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An interesting side note to this year’s NBA Finals, these two franchises were born at the same time, joining the NBA as expansion teams in 1968. And another fun side note: the Suns lost a coin flip to the Bucks for the top pick in the 1969 NBA draft.
Milwaukee chose Lew Alcindor, who you now know as Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, with the first overall pick, while Phoenix used the second overall pick to take Florida center Neal Walk. End of story… until 2021.
The Suns opened at -175 at Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill, with the Bucks listed as +150 underdogs.
Phoenix is also a 5.5-point favorite over Milwaukee in Game 1 on Tuesday, largely because two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo isn’t expected to play, still recovering from a hyperextended left knee.
Bottom line for me, the Suns are the better team, with a deeper bench, and if they play with the same intensity they showed in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals, they’ll win the franchise’s first-ever NBA title.
Prediction: Bucks 120 – Suns 131