2021 NBA Finals
Tune-In Tidbits: 2021 NBA Finals, Game 5
Get ready for Saturday's pivotal Game 5 of the 2021 NBA Finals with five key stats to know about the Suns-Bucks matchup.
Brian Martin, for NBA.com
• This will be the 30th time that the NBA Finals is tied at 2-2. The team that has won Game 5 has gone on to win the title 72.4% of the time (21-8).
The last Finals tied at 2-2 was the 2015 Finals between Golden State and Cleveland as the Warriors won Games 5 and 6 to win the title. The last team to lose Game 5, but go on to win the title was the 2013 Miami Heat over the San Antonio Spurs. The Finals win percentage is lower than the playoffs as a whole, as teams that win Game 5 in a 2-2 series go on to win the series 82.1% of the time (179-39), which includes a 5-2 mark in this year’s playoffs.
The Suns won their first round matchup with the Lakers in this fashion as they won Games 5 and 6 to close out the series after being tied 2-2. The Bucks have won series both ways. In the East semifinals, they lost Game 5 to Brooklyn, then won Games 6 and 7 to take the series. In the East Finals, they won Game 5 over Atlanta and closed out the series in Game 6.
• Can Khris Middleton bring his home offense on the road in Game 5? During The Finals, he is averaging 29 points on 44.7 FG%, 40 3P% and 90.9 FT% in two home games, but just 20 points on 40.5 FG%, 33.3 3P% and no free throws in two road games. The disparity goes beyond the Finals; for the entire postseason Middleton has averaged 3.6 more points at home while shooting 6.4 percentage points better from the field (46.8% to 40.4%) and 6.5 percentage points higher from 3-point range (38.0% to 31.5%).
• In Game 4, Chris Paul had as many turnovers (five) as the entire Bucks team as Phoenix committed 17 turnovers that led to 24 Milwaukee points. Here are Paul’s turnover averages round-by-round this postseason: 1.5 per game vs. the Lakers, 1.3 vs. the Nuggets, 2.0 vs. the Clippers and 4.3 vs. the Bucks. In 22 minutes of matchup time against Jrue Holiday, Paul has seven turnovers to just nine assists, but has shot 14-18 (77.8%) from the field and has made all six of his 3-point shots.
• Giannis Antetokounmpo attempted 18.2% of his shots from 3-point range in Game 1 and 22.7% in Game 2 — both Milwaukee losses. He attempted only 8.7% of his shots from 3-point range in Game 3 and 10.5% in Game 4 — both Milwaukee wins.
• While the Suns shot two percentage points better from the field overall in their two losses in Milwaukee (49.7%) compared to their two wins in Phoenix (47.7%), their 3-point percentage dropped by 12.3 percentage points and their attempts dropped by 10 per game. The key difference was their distribution; while they shot nearly the same amount of above the break 3-pointers (49 in Games 1-2, 48 in Games 3-4), their corner 3s disappeared. After shooting 13-22 (59.1%) in their two wins, the Suns shot just 1-6 (16.7%) in their two losses.