The 2021 NBA Finals Game 2 betting preview is here! Get a sportsbook ticket and play safe with BetRivers.
Giannis surprisingly returned to the lineup for Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday night. He played 35 minutes and finished with 20 points, 17 boards and four assists. Khris Middleton went for 29 points. The Bucks, as a team, shot 16-for-36 from three, and yet, they lost the first game of the series, 118-105, and never truly looked threatening in the second half.
So what does that mean for Game 2? How will Coach Bud adjust to guarding those Phoenix ball-screens? And if Giannis is not at 100 percent, do the Bucks have any hope of coming back and winning this series?
Let’s take a look at where the value lies for 2021 NBA Finals Game 2.
2021 NBA Finals Game 2 Betting Preview
LINE: Phoenix (-5)
Everything that I wrote about coming into this series, both in my breakdown of Game 1 and in my preview for the series, I discussed how I thought that the Bucks were in trouble because their ball-screen drop coverage would get lit up by Chris Paul, Devin Booker and the Suns. Playing a drop incentivizes the ball-handler to take pull-ups in the midrange, and both CP3 and Book are elite shooting those shots. Drop coverage this, drop coverage that, drop coverage everything.
Want to take a guess what the Bucks did in Game 1?
They switched. They switched everything. They rolled the dice and let Phoenix’s guards hunt the matchups they wanted and go from there. CP3 and Book combined for 59 points and 15 assists, and it felt like every possession that Phoenix had went something like this:
Chris Paul is just punishing these switches against Bobby Portis. Sheesh. pic.twitter.com/25qaC0emPd
— Steve Jones Jr. (@stevejones20) July 7, 2021
And that right there is the entire reason why Milwaukee plays so much drop coverage. They can’t switch everything. They’re not the Clippers, they don’t have a roster that is built like that. Even the lineups when Giannis is at the five are going to have issues. Switch everything and the Suns can still hunt Pat Connaughton or Bobby Portis. Play drop and you’re looking at a slow-footed Brook Lopez or a banged up Giannis trying to corral two of the most dangerous on-ball guards in the sport. Seems suboptimal.
I understand that Dario Saric has been really effective in the postseason, and his absence shortens the Phoenix rotation, limits their front court depth and takes away a floor spacer. That’s worth considering. But I just think that this is one of the worst possible matchups for the Bucks, so I’ll be fading the steam and riding with the home team once again.
2021 NBA Finals Odds
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