PLAYERS TO WATCH
Phoenix Suns – Devin Booker
Booker has been outstanding for the Suns this postseason and has averaged 29.0 points in this series so far, but he has turned in two very contrasting displays.
The sixth-year guard, involved in the playoffs for the first time, shot a disappointing 38.1 per cent in Game 1 but made 10 of 10 free throws. His Game 2 field-goal percentage increased to 48.0 per cent – carried by seven-of-12 shooting from three – yet he did not visit the foul line once.
Should he be able to combine the two, both drawing fouls and making shots, Milwaukee can have no answer for Booker.
Milwaukee Bucks – Giannis Antetokounmpo
After a slightly unconvincing Game 1 on his return from injury, Antetokounmpo was back to his best in Game 2 with a playoff career-high 42 points on 68.2 per cent shooting – also matching his best postseason field-goal percentage, set against the Boston Celtics in 2019.
But the Bucks still lost, as their second and third men failed to fire. Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton – one out of form, the other inconsistent – are averaging a combined 34.0 points per game and 36.4 per cent field-goal percentage as the team's starting backcourt, while Paul and Booker are together delivering 56.5 points on 49.4 per cent shooting.
Those numbers simply have to improve to keep Antetokounmpo in games; the two-time MVP might be looking to "keep it light" but needs the platform to be a difference-maker.