Milwaukee Bucks: 3 takeaways from 118-105 Game 1 loss to Phoenix Suns in NBA Finals

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JULY 06: (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JULY 06: (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images) /
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PHOENIX, ARIZONA – JULY 06: (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, ARIZONA – JULY 06: (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Playing in their first NBA Finals game in 47 years, the Milwaukee Bucks‘ quest for an NBA championship faces an immediate hurdle out of the gate.

The Bucks suffered a 113-101 Game 1 loss to the Phoenix Suns that saw Milwaukee fall into a 1-0 hole for the third straight playoff series this playoff run. Meanwhile, the Suns gave their sold-out home crowd plenty to cheer for as they kept up their winning ways against the Bucks, just as they did during the regular season.

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As they no doubt felt the gravity of the moment going into the night, the Bucks’ night was certainly not all bad as the loss makes it out to seem. However, there were some unavoidable performances and key statistics for why things didn’t break in the Bucks’ favor last night.

So without further ado, let’s break down what stood out the most in the Milwaukee Bucks’ Game 1 defeat to the Phoenix Suns in the 2021 NBA Finals.

Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo makes stunning return in Game 1 to Phoenix Suns

The biggest story going into Tuesday night ahead of this year’s NBA Finals was the status of Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo.

To everyone’s delight and surprise, Antetokounmpo not only made his return to action a week after suffering a hyperextended left knee, but looked the part, even as he and the Bucks fell to the Suns in Game 1. Antetokounmpo finished with 20 points on 6-for-11 shooting (1-for-2 from three, 7-for-12 from the free throw line), 17 rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block in over 35 minutes of action.

By and large, Antetokounmpo looked like himself as he put the ball on the floor with plenty of decisiveness on his way to the basket. We saw Antetokounmpo attack the likes of Jae Crowder and Deandre Ayton on the left wing of the floor early on, even going as far as muscling and pushing through Ayton on occasion.

The highlight of Antetokounmpo’s night certainly came late in the first half when he made the stunning chasedown block on an unsuspected Mikal Bridges at the basket to save the Bucks from seeing two points go down the basket. Unfortunately, that was not a fitting metaphor for how the rest of Game 1 went for Milwaukee.

Considering the fact that we saw Antetokounmpo undergo what looked to be a catastrophic injury a week ago, seeing him on the court and play as well as he did was an emphatic win for the Bucks. And to that point, Antetokounmpo himself said after the game that he thought he ‘wrecked’ his knee.

Of course, whether Antetokounmpo looks this sharp and will be able to play without considerable pain will certainly chart the Bucks’ course this series. But after the last week, it’s simply great to see Antetokounmpo back in action.