July 2021 Basketball Wiretap

Chris Paul Rules Out Retiring This Offseason

Jul 21, 2021 11:36 AM

Chris Paul is ready to continue his NBA career next season after coming two wins short of his first NBA championship. Paul had become arguably the NBA's great player ever to never reach a Finals until he did so with the Phoenix Suns this season.

"It will take a while to process this or whatnot, but it's same mentality," Paul said after the Bucks' 105-98 series clincher. "Get back to work. I ain't retiring, if that's what you're asking. That's out. So, back to work."

Paul had 26 points and five assists in Game 6.

"Right now, you're just trying to figure out what you could have done more," Paul said. "It's tough. Great group of guys, hell of a season, but this one is going to hurt for a while."

Paul has a player option worth $44.2 million for the 21-22 season, which he could decline to sign a longer deal.

Dave McMenamin/ESPN

Tags: Chris Paul, Phoenix Suns, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA Playoffs

Bucks Win 2021 NBA Finals, Beat Suns 105-98 In Game 6

Jul 20, 2021 11:42 PM

The Milwaukee Bucks have won the 2021 NBA championship, defeating the Phoenix Suns 105-98 in Game 6.

After losing the first two games of the series in Phoenix, the Bucks won the next four games.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 50 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks in Game 6 to close out one of the best Finals in NBA history. Antetokounmpo was named Finals MVP.

“I want to thank Milwaukee for believing in me," said Antetokounmpo. "I trusted this team. I wanted to do it here in this city with these guys, so I’m happy we were able to get it done.”

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Milwaukee Bucks, Phoenix Suns, NBA, NBA Playoffs

Chris Paul Claims Right Wrist 'Good'

Jul 17, 2021 4:01 PM

Chris Paul struggled in Games 3 and 4 of The Finals, averaging just 14.5 points and eight assists. Paul also had five turnovers in Game 4. Paul was asked if the partially torn ligaments in his right hand flared up in those games. 

"No, I'm good," Paul assured, when asked about the hand on Friday.

Monty Williams backed up Paul's claim of a clean bill of health.

"Yeah, he's fine," Williams said. "Other than having to deal with me, he's good."

Dave McMenamin/ESPN

Tags: Phoenix Suns, NBA, NBA Injury, NBA Playoffs

Torrey Craig Planning To Play Game 3

Jul 11, 2021 4:50 PM

Torrey Craig is planning to play Game 3 of the NBA Finals, sources told Adrian Wojnarowski.

Craig tweaked his knee in Game 2, but returned a clean MRI.

Craig is averaging 4.3 points in 12.5 minutes over the playoffs. 

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Tags: Torrey Craig, Phoenix Suns, NBA, NBA Injury, NBA Playoffs

Giannis Antetokounmpo On Game 3: 'You Got To Keep The Atmosphere Light'

Jul 10, 2021 6:15 PM

Giannis Antetokounmpo said that the mood around the Milwaukee Bucks was "light" despite being down 2-0 heading into Sunday's Game 3.

"At the end of the day, you got to keep it light. You cannot tell yourself, 'Oh, it's the Finals. You got to do this. There's so much pressure, man.' No, like, it's still basketball. It's easy to say, hard to do, but at the same time, you have to try to approach it that way. Just got to keep it light. Got to keep the ball light. You got to keep the atmosphere light," said Antetokounmpo during a media session on Saturday.

The Bucks were previously down 2-0 to the Nets in the Eastern Conference semifinals, only to come back and win four of the next five games.

Antetokounmpo, who finished with 42 points on 15-of-22 shooting in Game 2, added that he was getting more comfortable with his mid-range game.

"I'm feeling more comfortable. I'm just trying to be aggressive, trying to go downhill. Sometimes guys stay in front of me or they create a wall that doesn't allow me to get in the paint. So you got to try to figure out other ways to be effective, whether it's pass the ball or pull up for the mid-range jump shot or get to a spot and then shoot over them ... my mindset is always try to get downhill, try to make the right play, the right decision, either is that a pass, either is that scoring. But, as I said, sometimes you have to take those shots. You got to keeping the defense guessing."

Tim Bontemps/ESPN

Tags: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks, NBA, NBA Playoffs

Chris Paul Consensus Favorite To Win MVP Of Finals At U.S. Sportsbooks

Jul 7, 2021 1:33 AM

Chris Paul is the consensus favorite to win the NBA Finals MVP at U.S. sportsbooks.

Paul is a +170 favorite at Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill. He has also attracted more bets than any other player at several sportsbooks.

Paul entered the playoffs as a 40-1 favorite to win Finals MVP.

Devin Booker is behind Paul at +260 at Caesars/William Hill, followed by Giannis Antetokounmpo at +375.

Paul finished with 32 points and 9 assists in Game 1. 

David Purdum/ESPN

Tags: Chris Paul, Phoenix Suns, NBA, NBA Playoffs

Giannis Antetokounmpo 'Making Progress' In Rehabbing Knee

Jul 5, 2021 4:59 PM

Giannis Antetokounmpo did more on-court work on the eve of Game 1 of The Finals.

In talking about Antetokounmpo's status for Game 1, Mike Budenholzer declined to expand on what exactly he was able to do on the court and simply said he is "making progress."

Antetokounmpo suffered a hyperextended knee in Game 4.

Malika Andrews/ESPN

Tags: Milwaukee Bucks, NBA, NBA Injury, NBA Playoffs

Suns Open As Favorites In NBA Finals At Sportsbooks

Jul 4, 2021 4:02 PM

The Phoenix Suns opened as a -175 favorite over the Milwaukee Bucks at Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill.

The Bucks are listed at +150 underdogs.

The Suns also opened at -5.5 favorites for Game 1.

The line reflects the belief that Giannis Antetokounmpo will miss at least part of the NBA Finals. Mike Budenholzer said that Antetokounmpo was "day-to-day."

Prior to Antetokounmpo's injury last week, the Bucks opened as -150 favorites against the Suns in an early series price on a potential finals matchup.

Early action was on the Suns, prompting the SuperBook at Westgate Las Vegas to move the line to -170. 

David Purdum/ESPN

Tags: Milwaukee Bucks, Phoenix Suns, NBA, NBA Playoffs

Trae Young Following Game 6 Loss: 'We'll Be Back'

Jul 4, 2021 1:17 PM

Trae Young looked towards the future following the Atlanta Hawks' 118-107 season-ending loss to the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 6.

"I feel like we'll be back, and I meant it with my whole heart," said Young.

Young, who played in Game 6 after missing Games 4 and 5, finished with 14 points on 4-for-17 shooting from the field.

The Hawks were led by Cam Reddish's 21 points on 6-for-7 shooting from 3, though the Hawks as a team shot just 41.3% from the field.

Young spoke of his frustration of not being fully healthy in the series.

"For me, not being able to be out there for my team for two games, and then tonight just wanting to battle and try to fight through it as much as I could and try to be out there for my team, it's definitely frustrating not being healthy and not being able to give my full 100 percent," said Young.

Nate McMillan added that Young's game was built for the postseason.

"You need a player that can create and put the ball in the basket, but create opportunities for his teammates, that has that confidence that he has shown out on the floor ... I've seen a lot of good players and great players in this league, and I think he has that potential. I really do think he has that potential.

"He gives everything he has when he's out there on the floor. This guy is committed to winning. He's committed to this team. He has a talent, a special talent that you need in order to have success this time of the year," said McMillan after the game.

Young said that he expects McMillan, who took over the team on an interim basis when they had a 14-20 record, to get the Hawks job full-time.

"I don't see interim on his label here soon. In my mind, I don't think that will be a case that much longer."

Tim Bontemps/ESPN

Tags: Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks, NBA, NBA Injury, NBA Playoffs

Jrue Holiday Says Khris Middleton Is 'Heart Of This Team' After Making NBA Finals

Jul 4, 2021 1:08 PM

The Milwaukee Bucks beat the Atlanta Hawks 118-107 in Game 6 to clinch the Eastern Conference finals 4-2.

The Bucks, who will appear in their first NBA Finals since 1974, were led by Khris Middleton's 32 points.

"It's been a long journey," said Middleton, reflecting upon his time with the Bucks. "But it's been a great journey. It's been worth it. After winning 15 games in our first year here and seven years not making the playoffs, to the last two years thinking we had a chance and just didn't do enough and now we're here."

Middleton scored 23 points in the third quarter, making the third time he's scored more than 20 points in the third quarter during his playoff career. 

Jrue Holiday added 27 points, 9 rebounds, and 9 assists. 

"Khris is the heart of this team. I feel like Giannis is the soul of this team, and without them, man, we really wouldn't be here," said Holiday afterwards.

The Bucks will play the Suns in the NBA Finals, starting on July 6.

Giannis Antetokounmpo is reportedly "day-to-day" in the series. 

Malika Andrews/ESPN

Tags: Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday, Milwaukee Bucks, NBA, NBA Playoffs

Mike Budenholzer: Giannis Antetokounmpo Will Be 'Day-To-Day' For NBA Finals

Ben Golliver/Washington Post

2021 NBA Finals Between Bucks, Suns Begins On July 6

Shams Charania/The Athletic

Trae Young To Play In Game 6

Malika Andrews/ESPN

Giannis Antetokounmpo Officially Ruled Out For Game 6

Marc Stein/The New York Times

Giannis Antetokounmpo Could Play In Potential Game 7

Chris Haynes/Yahoo! Sports

Trae Young Out For Game 5 With Foot Injury

Adrian Wojnarowski, Malika Andrews/ESPN

Giannis Antetokounmpo Out For Game 5 Of Eastern Conference Finals

RealGM Staff Report

Paul George: Clippers Would Have Beat Suns With Kawhi Leonard Playing

Ohm Youngmisuk/ESPN

Chris Paul Scores 41 Points, Suns Make First NBA Finals Since 1993

Dave McMenamin/ESPN