NBA Finals Preview: X Factors (7-5-21)



By: Tyrone Montgomery Jr.

Headline Photo Credit:  Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Tyrone Montgomery Jr-LegacyMaker Sports Network Columnist & Creator of “2Up 2Down Report” & “Tales of The Week”

The Phoenix Suns and the Milwaukee Bucks will represent the East and the West in the NBA Finals this year. Now, I know Lebron James isn’t playing in the Finals. Steph Curry and the Warriors didn’t even have a chance to make it to the finals. And Kawhi Leonard got hurt and he didn’t even make the finals. But this year’s NBA Finals is still very much intriguing. When you hear these names, what do you think of? – Allen Iverson, Karl Malone, Charles Barkley, John Stockton, Tracey McGrady, Vince Carter, Reggie Miller, Patrick Ewing. Yes, all of those NBA Hall of Famers came up short of winning an NBA Title in their career. Some of them failed to even make it to the Finals. Although they are still playing and have a few more years left to win a ring, Giannis and Chris Paul are also on that list as well. One of them will win their first NBA Championship. The question is who will it be? Well, the Greak Freak is still out with the knee injury and his status is unknown and up in the air. Giannis remains Day-To-Day. However, this is the NBA Finals and this may be his only opportunity to win a championship. I would expect for him to play. But he may not be at full strength. So who is the X-Factor here for the Milwaukee?

Photo Courtesy: NBA.com

Bucks X Factor – Jrue Holiday

Jrue Holiday has to be the X Factor here for Milwaukee. The offense is usually ran through Giannis. However, we may not see the Greak Freak we’re all accustomed to seeing. Jrue had a bit of a quiet Regular Season for the Bucks. But we’ve always known him to be a solid player on both ends of the floor. A guy who can get hot beyond the ark, find his teammates in situations, and lock down his man defensively too. He’s had a great playoffs thus far and if he continues his great play especially on defense dealing with Chris Paul, the Bucks just may win this thing even with an injured Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Photo Courtesy: NBA.com

Suns X Factor – Mikal Bridges 

Mikal Bridges is the guy who is asked to do all of the dirty work and make the plays nobody else may not want to do. But the good thing about Mikal is he does it willingly with a smile on his face and he isn’t a liability on offense either. He didn’t have a good series vs. the LA Clippers but that’s because he had to deal with Paul George and Reggie Jackson and even Marcus Morris at times. The Bucks have a number of substantial defenders. Chris Paul and Devin Booker could both very well struggle at times offensively. If Bridges can get back on track offensively and be the player he’s shown us in the first 2 rounds of the playoffs, the Suns could get hot and walk away with this Championship in 5, maybe even 6 games.