KEY POINTS

  • The Bucks' potential back-to-back title bid won’t be easy next season
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo cements place among NBA greats
  • Many teams are expected to rebuild their roster with redemption in sight

The Milwaukee Bucks became the 2020-21 NBA season champions, finishing off the Phoenix Suns, 105-98, on Tuesday night.

It was the franchise’s first title since 1971 when they swept the Baltimore Bullets. That team was backstopped by Oscar Robertson and Lew Alcindor, who later became known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Fast forward to 2021, it was Giannis Antetokounmpo who stood out in Game 6 of the finals. He finished with 50 points, joining an elite list of names who have scored 50 or more.

That list included Elgin Baylor (61), Michael Jordan (55), Rick Barry, Jerry West (53), LeBron James (51) and Bob Pettit (50).

The performance rewarded Antetokounmpo with the 2021 NBA Finals MVP. It was a fitting cap for the “Greek Freak” considering word got out that he may be hiding an injury following a press conference exit.

But none of that showed in Game 6. Aside from dropping 50 points, he also collared 14 rebounds and five blocks in 42 minutes of action.

But perhaps the most glaring stat of them all is seeing the two-time NBA MVP sinking 17-of-19 free throws considering he is not known to struggle from the charity stripe.

Looking ahead, it would not be surprising if the Bucks would try to go for back-to-back NBA titles.

However, the chances of that happening remain unknown and may depend on what happens this offseason.

Before the Bucks pocketed the NBA plum, IMG Academy associate Director Dan Barto weighed in on what to expect this offseason.

Barto shared his thoughts when he appeared on the Sports For All PH podcast hosted by Filipino journalists Vincent Juico and Brian Yalung last July 16.

“I expect absolute mayhem and craziness of the draft all the way to free agency. I think we will see the most demanded trades in the history of the NBA with most people threatening to sit out, those people unhappy, people will walk away, buying out, people willing to walk away from contracts because of the current state of what is happening,” he stated.

Aside from the moves, it should be noted that some teams who many had picked but failed due to injuries to key players have had ample time to rest.

It will be an entirely new season with tipped teams planning to bounce back after a disappointing 2020-21 season.

“Look these franchises are selling and these new owners coming in. And a lot of these new owners are crazy. So it's going to be craziness,” Barto stated.

As far as Phoenix is concerned, there are a lot of things to cover. Chris Paul is not expected to return, and head coach Monty Williams and company are likely to address loopholes.

For Barto, the Suns did not deserve to be at this stage because they did not beat favored teams at their best.

“I mean, they don’t deserve to be there because they did not necessarily beat the other teams at their best. But the basketball gods always reward those that do the right things,” Barto explained.

Giannis Antetokoumpo of the Milwaukee Bucks Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks celebrates defeating the Phoenix Suns in Game Six to win the 2021 NBA Finals at Fiserv Forum Photo: Getty Images | Jonathan Daniel