Milwaukee Bucks: 3 keys to victory in pivotal Game 6 versus Phoenix Suns

Jul 17, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 17, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Jrue Holiday, Bobby Portis, Pat Connaughton
Jul 17, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

The Milwaukee Bucks find themselves back at Fiserv Forum for a pivotal Game 6 tonight against the Phoenix Suns.

Leading the NBA Finals 3-2, the Bucks have a golden opportunity to close this series out on their home floor, but that will be far easier said than done. The Suns have been a formidable foe for them throughout this series given the matchups they provide, and this Phoenix squad will be motivated to put up a strong fight after dropping three consecutive games.

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For the Bucks, they are riding high following their come from behind win in Game 5, but as Giannis Antetokounmpo recently detailed, focusing on past accomplishments is having your ego do the talking, and they will have to center their attention entirely on tonight.

To do so, they will have to continue several trends that have allowed them to fight back in this series after being down 0-2. With that being said, here are three keys to victory for Milwaukee in tonight’s Game 6.

The Milwaukee Bucks need their role players to continue stepping up in Game 6 vs. the Phoenix Suns

While this series has been highlighted by the star-power at work, Milwaukee’s role players have done a sensational job of stepping up.

In particular, Pat Connaughton has been flat-out spectacular. The guard is averaging 11 points throughout five games while shooting 52.8 percent from the floor and 50 percent from 3-point range, providing the Bucks with a massive boost off the bench offensively. He has been a force on the glass as well, consistently hauling in rebounds both offensively and defensively with authority.

While Bobby Portis has not been a scoring machine in this series, he has given the Bucks a spark in the second unit thanks to his unflagging energetic presence. The big man will leave everything he has out on the court when he checks in, whether it be with his scoring, rebounding, or pure hustle to get the crowd on their feet chanting his name. After seeing his minutes shortened during the opening two losses in this series, Portis has returned to give the Bucks solid minutes.

Lastly, P.J. Tucker has provided Milwaukee with more defensive versatility, matching up with an array of Phoenix’s most talented pieces. Much like Portis and Connaughton, Tucker has joined in on the rebounding attack, particularly on the offensive end. His persistent hustle and tenacious presence have been a gift for the Bucks, despite some foul trouble persisting throughout these last few games.

Having these three keep it consistent in this Game 6 will be crucial. When Connaughton gets the pass on the perimeter, he must let it fly with confidence. If there is a loose ball off a missed shot, Portis must fly in and outhustle everyone for it. When the Bucks need a stop, Tucker must put that defensive excellence to good use and make it as difficult as possible for the opposing player. This trio has been great in playing their individual roles, which the team will need more of tonight.