Milwaukee Bucks: Keys to victory in NBA Finals Game 1 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: Khris Middleton, Phoenix Suns: Devin Booker
PHOENIX, ARIZONA – FEBRUARY 10 (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The Milwaukee Bucks need Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday to take charge in Game 1 of the NBA Finals

The question on everyone’s mind right now is just how healthy Giannis Antetokounmpo will be for the Bucks in the NBA Finals.

After hyperextending his knee in Game 4 during the Eastern Conference Finals, Giannis missed the following two games. Although reports surfaced that he could potentially return for a Game 7, that never happened as the Bucks finished the series out in six games. That report sparked optimism that Antetokounmpo could be close to being ready for the start of the NBA Finals, but he is listed as “doubtful” for Game 1 tonight. 

While Antetokounmpo will likely make a push to play, it seems feasible that he will not suit up. In that case, the Bucks will desperately need the other two players in their Big 3 in Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday to step up. The world watched these two take the reigns in Games 5 and 6 against the Hawks without Antetokounmpo and reel off consecutive victories to put the Bucks in this position.

Over those final two games, Middleton was phenomenal by averaging 29 points while shooting 47.6 percent from the floor and 37.5 percent from deep, while handing out 7.5 assists. Holiday followed right behind him by posting 26 points on 46.5 percent field goal shooting and 35 percent 3-point shooting while dishing out an impressive 11 assists per game. These two embraced the challenge without the two-time MVP in the lineup and increased their workloads mightily, and they might have to prepare for the same thing to kick off this series.

Whether Antetokounmpo suits up in Game 1 or not, the Bucks will need hefty contributions from both Middleton and Holiday to maximize their success.