Milwaukee Bucks: 3 dominant storylines in NBA Finals vs. Phoenix Suns

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 10 (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 10 (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo
PHOENIX, ARIZONA – FEBRUARY 10 (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Ladies and gentlemen, the Milwaukee Bucks are officially finally heading back to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1974.

They stamped their ticket after defeating the Atlanta Hawks in a thrilling 118-107 victory in Game 6 on Saturday night. They will take on the star-studded Phoenix Suns, who have been on a tear throughout these playoffs after snapping their decade-long postseason drought with a resurgence in the regular season thanks to several key additions.

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The Suns boasted the second-best record in the association this season at 51-21, meaning that they will hold homecourt advantage against the Bucks, who went 46-26 during the regular season.

Given the household names and key factors heading into this matchup, this series is shaping up to be something special. Storylines will soon begin to flood the airwaves in anticipation, and here are three that are sure to cycle through the news as this series progresses.

Giannis Antetokounmpo’s health will be a factor for the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA Finals vs. Phoenix Suns

The most significant question right now leading up to the series revolves around just how healthy Giannis Antetokounmpo is and if he will be ready to start the NBA Finals with the Bucks.

Antetokounmpo suffered a knee injury in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals that left an entire fanbase simultaneously on edge until MRI results revealed no structural damage had occurred. Instead, the Greek Freak was diagnosed with a hyperextended knee and there was no timetable given for a potential return date. Rumors were brewing that he could have likely returned to the lineup had the Bucks gone to a Game 7 with the Hawks, but that thought died down quickly after the Bucks won Games 5 and 6 without Giannis in the fold.

Those rumors seem to be a good sign that Antetokounmpo is progressing with his rehabilitation and that the knee is healing up. Furthermore, Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer stated before Saturday’s Game 6 that Giannis had indeed started doing on-court work, although there were no specifications given as to what that work involved or how aggressive it was.

The Bucks will obviously prioritize Antetokounmpo’s health in this situation, although he will undeniably be doing everything possible to get out there and play on the biggest stage. Right now, there is no clear indication as to when Giannis could make his return, but it will be a storyline to follow closely with the Finals approaching. If he was preparing to return for a potential Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Finals, he could very well be ready for Game 1 of the NBA Finals, but only time will ultimately tell.