Being on the edge of the abyss can make the champion gene emerge strongly. That is what Phoenix suns, a team that in just over a week went from being almost a champion to being on the ropes. The first two meetings of the NBA Finals 2021 were more than promising for Arizona, but in the last three games they have lost their tactical direction, freshness and success, being at the mercy of the game dictated by Giannis Antetokounmpo and his minions. Things do not finish working and they no longer have room for error, so Monty williams he must influence some tactical aspects that have been decisive for his last defeats.
How to stop Antetokounmpo
The one known as “Giannis Wall” is full of cracks in recent games and neither Crowder nor Craig are able to make an effective defense on the Greek. Defending in a frontal way is allowing the Greek to double many balls, as well as impose his physical power to take free kicks. Antetokounmpo has reduced his outside shots to almost a minimum, taking advantage of the fact that they do not float too much, and he feels comfortable not having full-back defenders who can make feint marks and intercept his passes to shooters. At one point, the Suns will have to assume that the Greek scores a lot, and focus on his teammates not doing so, also focusing on attacking him later so that he suffers on defense and has physical wear.
It is being the great problem of a team that had previously been characterized by good ball handling. Constant rainfall by Chris Paul and a lack of ideas beyond a very over-marked pick & roll with Ayton, are reducing offensive circulation to the maximum, looking in these and in Booker for individual inspiration to solve the matches. If they do not lose less than 10 balls in the next match, it will be difficult to beat.
Increase the volume of 3s thrown
While they can dominate the paint with Ayton, the Bahamian’s rebounding might should lead Arizona to shoot a lot more from outside, knowing they have a wild card under the rim. Faced with a team that shoots a lot of three points and does it with success, such as the Bucks, it will be necessary for them to circulate the ball and look for open shots from players like Crowder, vital when it comes to helping Booker score.