KEY POINTS

  • IMG Academy top brass Daniel Barto shares that the Phoenix Suns look tired
  • Suns coach Monty Williams needs to address woes to win Game 6 of the finals
  • Suns fans are counting on Chris Paul and Devin Booker to avoid elimination

The Phoenix Suns are one loss away from allowing the Milwaukee Bucks to win the 2021 NBA title following a loss in Game 5.

IMG Academy associate director Daniel Barto shared an interesting point when he appeared on a recent podcast.

Barto was the special guest on Sports For All PH last July 16 hosted by Filipino journalists Vincent Juico and Brian Yalung.

But before the show ended, Yalung put him in a spot and asked him about the ongoing NBA Finals.

“When you talk about basketball strategy, I think the Suns are tired. I think that going back to Phoenix, where all those young players are going to have all the distractions, their family and now the series is tied, it’s just too much,” Barto stated.

However, he is not discounting the Suns. But for Phoenix to win it all, the director stressed that they need Chris Paul to step up to get that chance.

“I think the only way that the Suns can win again is Chris Paul takes 20 or more shots, sinks the defense, keeps the pressure on Milwaukee so they can get back, and set a wall against Giannis. And let’s face it, the referees are going to come into play whether it's Game 5 or Game 6. But I think Phoenix is tired and I don’t think that Milwaukee is,” Barto stated.

After losing Game 5, the Suns find themselves facing elimination for the first time this year.

Paul and Devin Booker are holding up the fort, but more is needed. Suns coach Monty Williams knows it. It all starts by taking it one game at a time.

“And you have to have that determination that you’re willing to do whatever it takes to put them back on the plane. So, we can call it what we want to, mental toughness, all of that stuff; but it’s going to be needed and our guys are capable of doing it. This is our first time in this position and we can do it,” Williams stated.

Pundits feel the Suns have gone cold at the worst time. They are behind a series for the first time since trailing the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.

Barto’s observation appears to make sense, but the Suns still have a chance. It all starts by winning Game 6 and bringing the NBA Finals back to Phoenix.

Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams giving instructions to his players. Head coach Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns talks with Chris Paul #3, Deandre Ayton #22, Mikal Bridges #25, Jae Crowder #99 and Devin Booker #1 in the second half of game five of the NBA Finals against the Milwaukee Bucks at Footprint Center on July 17, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo: Getty Images | Christian Petersen