Bucks @ Suns Saturday Finals game thread 7-17-2021 Game - Game 5

1Sun

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The Suns are averaging 112 ppg on 50-40-86 shooting splits. They have five guys over a .60ts percentage. They can score on these guys.

CP3 looked better than he did in game 4 so I’m thinking he’ll be better after two more days off. As others have mentioned he’s got to provide some resistance against Jrue who is lighting him up. If Middleton gets going again I wouldn’t be against hack-a-Giannis to break their rhythm (although Giannis is a better FT shooter at home).

He looked better offensively, in large part because he started recognizing his physical limitations, and as such while more efficient, he was passing up wide open shots, even wide open lay-ups, and he stopped attempting those thread-the-needle passes that he usually makes. The result was efficient shooting and low turnovers statistically, but a very vanilla game on offense and poor offensive flow overall. As noted above, it also means a lot less drives and kick-outs, which in turn means fewer open three-point attempts. On defense, unlike on offense, there was nothing at all he could do to compensate for his injury, and as such, Holiday was able to abuse him because CP3 was physically unable to challenge shots or passes.
 

Bufalay

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A lot has been said about Ayton's rebounding deficiencies in game 5. I wanted to mention that I think he "only" got 10 rebounds in part because of a shift in Giannis' role on offense in the last 1.5 games or so.

Giannis has been setting more screens for Middleton which allowed Middleton to get a bunch of good shots in game 4. The Suns adjusted in game 5 by having Ayton and Bridges trap Middleton. This strategy worked pretty well early in the game and seemed to throw the Bucks off. But having Ayton trap means he's farther away from the hoop. He only had one rebound in the first quarter, for example.
 

Bufalay

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He looked better offensively, in large part because he started recognizing his physical limitations, and as such while more efficient, he was passing up wide open shots, even wide open lay-ups, and he stopped attempting those thread-the-needle passes that he usually makes. The result was efficient shooting and low turnovers statistically, but a very vanilla game on offense and poor offensive flow overall. As noted above, it also means a lot less drives and kick-outs, which in turn means fewer open three-point attempts. On defense, unlike on offense, there was nothing at all he could do to compensate for his injury, and as such, Holiday was able to abuse him because CP3 was physically unable to challenge shots or passes.

The Suns can win with that level of contribution from Paul on offense.

They can't let him get stuck like that on defense if they want to win. The Suns need to shorten the rotation in game 6. Booker, Ayton and Bridges need to all play 42+ minutes.

Cam Johnson's should be determined by home much the Bucks play big. If Lopez is out there Crowder has to be in.

Payne should play 10-15 minutes depending on Paul's health or whatever.

Craig shouldn't play.
 

Bufalay

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He looked better offensively, in large part because he started recognizing his physical limitations, and as such while more efficient, he was passing up wide open shots, even wide open lay-ups, and he stopped attempting those thread-the-needle passes that he usually makes. The result was efficient shooting and low turnovers statistically, but a very vanilla game on offense and poor offensive flow overall. As noted above, it also means a lot less drives and kick-outs, which in turn means fewer open three-point attempts. On defense, unlike on offense, there was nothing at all he could do to compensate for his injury, and as such, Holiday was able to abuse him because CP3 was physically unable to challenge shots or passes.


By the way, I liked that Paul and Booker were both attacking the paint in the first quarter. The Bucks tried to take the mid-range away and I liked the Suns' adjustment.
 

Bufalay

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Pat Connaughton looks like Republican Jake Plummer.
 

1Sun

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A lot has been said about Ayton's rebounding deficiencies in game 5. I wanted to mention that I think he "only" got 10 rebounds in part because of a shift in Giannis' role on offense in the last 1.5 games or so.

Giannis has been setting more screens for Middleton which allowed Middleton to get a bunch of good shots in game 4. The Suns adjusted in game 5 by having Ayton and Bridges trap Middleton. This strategy worked pretty well early in the game and seemed to throw the Bucks off. But having Ayton trap means he's farther away from the hoop. He only had one rebound in the first quarter, for example.

That doesn't account for the times when he was in fact closer to the hoop and refused to put a body on anyone.
 

1Sun

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The Suns can win with that level of contribution from Paul on offense.

They can't let him get stuck like that on defense if they want to win. The Suns need to shorten the rotation in game 6. Booker, Ayton and Bridges need to all play 42+ minutes.

Cam Johnson's should be determined by home much the Bucks play big. If Lopez is out there Crowder has to be in.

Payne should play 10-15 minutes depending on Paul's health or whatever.

Craig shouldn't play.

That won't matter if they are basically playing 4 on 5 on defense due to Paul's physical condition.
 

1Sun

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By the way, I liked that Paul and Booker were both attacking the paint in the first quarter. The Bucks tried to take the mid-range away and I liked the Suns' adjustment.

Paul was attacking, but only halfway. The lane would be wide open, but Paul would stop himself, while at the same time not shooting the mid range jumper when it was open. That was a very early sign to me that Paul was not right physically.

My text to my wife about 3-4 minutes in:

"It's over. Paul is hurting. Badly. :-("
 

DJ Tabooh

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They have been the better team in 3 of 5 games so....

Hoping the Suns can prove me wrong.
I’d disagree. Phoenix had the lead for 38 minutes in game 4 but couldn’t close because of Book’s foul trouble. I do think we’re a better team but we lack in execution. Have we lost 4 in a row all year.....last night was disappointing. To lose that lead that fast is just tough. But we had a chance to win the game after being down 14 in the 4th. I love this team. I want a Championship like all of us do. There’s no telling when we get back. Game 6, Win or Lose....Book needs to play 45+ minutes and whatever CP3 did in the last 5 minutes....we need that from jump.
 

95pro

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We might not agree on the how the message was delivered but agree SOME KIND of message was desperately needed.

I agree with the timeouts needed. But when that didn’t slow them from scoring shot after contested shot something else was needed to take that out of that “I can’t miss” mode
 

bwgood77

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So....... I think I took this loss really poorly.

I am not sure I have ever seen such poor shooting lead to such long rebounds that the other team miraculously came up with in my life.

It's not over...... but it sure does feel like it. I have no faith in Paul finding his rhythm. And Mikal & Cam aren't ready to be #3.
Paul finding his rythm? He scored 21 on 60% shooting and 100% from 3 with 11 ast and 1 turnover. He was the main catalyst in bringing us back scoring 10 down the stretch on 4-4 shooting with two huge 3s.
 

bwgood77

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There is no good replacement, but resigning him to a cap killing deal to lose in the second round 3 years in a row doesn‘t make any sense.

I would try and do a sign and trade.
Would you rather be a fringe playoff team for the next 3 years? Even if the Suns got the best guy on the market, a 35 year old Lowry, I don't think it makes them better. Suns will likely be over the cap even if they don't sign him...not this summer but next. And he can still opt in and take his $44 million as well.
 

bwgood77

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It's going to be tough to get past the 2nd round no matter what with a healthy Lakers, Clippers, Warrior, Nuggets and Jazz. And then the Mavs took the healthy Clips to 7.
 

cheesebeef

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It's going to be tough to get past the 2nd round no matter what with a healthy Lakers, Clippers, Warrior, Nuggets and Jazz. And then the Mavs took the healthy Clips to 7.

you have to hope Ayton and Bridges take a leap next season to offset the other teams. Also, some of these injuries on other teams were MAJOR injuries that I think will effect them next season. Murray/Kawhi won’t be full strength until the season after next coming of late season ACL years.

and who knows what Klay looks like after back to back after a devastating ACL/Achilles combo.

but I expect the Lakers to have one more major run in them next year. AD probably dedicates himself to getting in great shape.

I.T’ll be tougher next year in the West for sure, but I think we still have another year window with this club to make a major push, especially if we can hit another homerun in FA like we did with Crowder.
 

Dr. Jones

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Paul finding his rythm? He scored 21 on 60% shooting and 100% from 3 with 11 ast and 1 turnover. He was the main catalyst in bringing us back scoring 10 down the stretch on 4-4 shooting with two huge 3s.
And yet he didn't take over like he has been the past few rounds.

IMO he should have demanded the ball when Booker brought it up. He needs to be creating the offense in that moment instead of Booker playing hero ball. Get book off of a screen, create speed and energy.

Just my 2 cents.
 
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