that much NBA’s A long regular season can be boring, but make no mistake. It’s important.
Ask the Boston Celtics and Phoenix Suns. Both teams enjoy a home court advantage in Game 7 of their two-round playoff series each on Sunday, thanks to their excellent regular season record.
The Celtics host the Milwaukee Bucks hours before the Suns host the Dallas Mavericks on a day full of drama.
“It means everything.” Celtics forward Jayson Tatum has spoken about playing Game 7 in Boston. “Best atmosphere in the NBA. Game 7s is the biggest and best game ever. I’m really looking forward to it.
“It’s basketball. The most important moment, the biggest stage. The bottom line is now to go out and have fun.”
Suns All-Star guard Devin Booker reflected these sentiments.
“We’ve been working all season to have our home court advantage and play our last game at home,” Booker said. “It’s exciting. It’s Game 7. I’ve never been to Game 7, so I think it’ll be fun.”
Luca’s Mavericks Force Game 7
Nick Wright predicts whether Chris Paul and Devin Booker can stop the Mavs moving on to the next round of the playoffs.
The Mavericks do a particularly difficult job in their game against the Suns. The home team won each of the first six games of the series, many of which were explosive.
“Our fan base is great for us and their fan base is great for them,” said Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson. “The home court advantage is real. Respect for both fan bases makes the away team difficult.”
It is the second year in a row that the Mavericks have played Game 7. Dallas lost to the Los Angeles Clippers in last year’s tournament after the visiting team won the first six games of the series.
Celtics and Bucks alternately won the whole series. With that pattern, it’s the Bucks’ turn to win. But there’s no doubt that Boston’s home court will be noisy and hostile on Sunday.
Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo said, “For me, I have to play.” “I want my colleagues to enjoy this moment.”
Here’s everything you need to know about Sunday’s two match 7s.
Bucks at Celtics: 3:30 PM EST on ABC
– Need to know: The team took turns winning victories throughout the series. The Bucks win the odd game and the Celtics win the even game. The road team is 4-2 and has won each of their last three matches.
What Giannis Proves in the Bucks-Celtics Series
Giannis Antetokounmpo showed why he’s the NBA MVP in Game 5, finishing with a game-best 40 points and 11 rebounds that helped the Milwaukee Bucks overcome a 14-point deficit against the Boston Celtics. Ric Bucher explains how Greek Freak validates this series.
Boston’s Tatum and Milwaukee’s Antetokounpo were excellent. Antetokounmpo is averaging 35.3 points, 13.8 rebounds and 6.8 assists in the series, while Tatum is averaging 28.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 5.0 assists. Tatum scored 46 points and Antetokounpo 44 in Game 6 of the Celtics’ 108-95 at Milwaukee, the fifth time an opposing team has scored at least 44 points in the same playoff game. The Celtics are 24-9 in Game 7 and the Bucks are 3-8.
— Keep an eye out for: 3 point comparison. Of Boston’s three victories, the Celtics had a 41.5 percent three-point percentage and overtook the Bucks 153-57 over the arc. In the Celtics’ three-game losing streak, they have a much narrower 111-102 advantage in the 3-point range and only succeeded 32.5% of their attempts.
— Injury monitoring: Bucks F Khris Middleton missed nine consecutive playoff games with a medial collateral ligament sprain in his left knee. Celtics F/C Robert Williams III has missed three games in a row due to pain in his left knee that has been surgically repaired and his Game 7 appearance is uncertain.
“It’s just putting up with the pain,” said Boston manager Ime Udoka. “The pain and swelling have subsided. It’s just a matter of extension and flexion and if the pain basically goes away with the bruise of the bone. Nothing structural. It’s normal.”
— Pressure is on. Bucks G Grayson Allen: After providing a burst of 22 points and 27 points of performance in a streak when the Bucks beat the Chicago Bulls in the first round, Allen did little in this series despite the transfer. He has a total of 23 points in his last five games and has shot 2 of 14 points in a 3-point range during that time. Allen scored three runs in Game 6 in seven at-bats.
Mavericks at Suns: 8:00 PM EST on TNT
– Need to know: The home team has won each of the first six games of the series and now returns to Phoenix for the final game. The series was close, but the individual games were often explosive. 3 out of 6 were determined by at least a 20-point difference.
Luka Dončić leads Mavs to Game 7
Luka Doncic scored a game-best 33 points as the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Phoenix Suns in Game 6. So far, the home team has won all six games in the series. Shannon Sharpe explains why Game 7 gave Dallas a “real chance” to win Phoenix.
Mavs star Luka Dončić averaged over 32 points in the series, although only 29.6% of the three-pointer was successful. Dončić is productive, but his support cast is struggling against the Sun. Phoenix are trying to shoot nearly 50% of the series but are struggling with turnovers. Booker leads the Suns with 25.5 points per game.
— Keep an eye out for: Suns PG Chris Paul. The 12-time All-Star is having a difficult series averaging 6.5 assists, well below his regular season average. The 37-year-old has had a few great games in the postseason over the past two years and the Suns may need another game on Sunday.
— Injury monitoring: Dončić appears to have sustained a left thigh injury, though he downplayed the severity. That’s something to watch in game 7. Dončić said. “At first it felt a little popped, but when I warmed up it was fine. Now it’s a little worse. But nothing serious.”
— Pressure is on. Suns. Phoenix are aiming for the NBA Finals for the second season in a row and hold the league’s best regular season record. Losing in the second round of the playoffs would be a big disappointment. Dallas doesn’t have very high expectations.
Is all the pressure on the phoenix?
Nick Wright beats the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference semifinals with the Dallas Mavericks. He also knocks down the competition for Devin Booker-Luka Dončić.
AP news report
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