It all comes down to this: A best of seven series with a World Championship on the line. On Tuesday night, the Milwaukee Bucks will take to the court against the Phoenix Suns, competing in an NBA Finals for the first time since 1974.
Here's what you need to know about tonight's game, as the Bucks attempt to capture just their second title ever:
CHASING A CHAMPIONSHIP: MORE COVERAGE:
- Giannis Antetokounmpo Doubtful For Game 1 Of NBA Finals
- NBA Finals Schedule Set: Here's When To Watch The Bucks
- Bucks To Open Fiserv Forum For Watch Parties During Away Games
- Standing Room Only Tickets For NBA Finals Home Games On Sale Now
- 50 Years Later: An Oral History Of The 1971 Championship Bucks
Giannis' injury status
There's no bigger narrative headed into Game 1 than that of whether Milwaukee's MVP will suit up after hyperextending his left knee in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Atlanta Hawks. The Greek Freak missed Games 5 (ruled out) and 6 (initially listed as doubtful before being ruled out).
Milwaukee didn't need Giannis to finish Atlanta, but the Suns are a different team. Will he be available for Game 1? The latest reports, unfortunately, again list Giannis as "doubtful" for Tuesday. We should get more information a short time before tip-off this evening.
Join the party at the Deer District
It's an unavoidable fact that the Deer District is THE place to be during a Bucks playoff game. If you haven't been there yet during this run, this author humbly suggests you experience it at least once - the electricity in the air is palpable.
For Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals, about 25,000 people packed themselves into the space outside Fiserv Forum, as well as the Beer Garden, which runs perpendicular to the plaza proper. Game nights are well-staffed with security, just don't expect to move through the crowd very quickly!
If you're interested in heading to the Deer District for Game 1 Tuesday night, the Bucks are encouraging fans to RSVP - that way you can stay up-to-date on any security or even updates.
Watch from inside Fiserv Forum
New to this series is an option to enjoy the game from INSIDE Fiserv Forum - a perfect opportunity for those who can't pay premium prices to attend a home game.
Fans can RSVP for a spot inside Fiserv's lower bowl for just $10, where you can watch the game on the arena's spectacular, extra-large scoreboard. Concessions will be available as well.
About 10,000 people will be let into the arena for this watch party, so make sure you claim your spot now!
Bucks-Suns in the regular season
Ok, a little bit on the game itself. The Suns and the Bucks don't see each other very often, as they're in opposing conferences. But in two games during the 2021 regular season, Phoenix was victorious both times.
In their first meeting on February 10, the Suns beat the Bucks 125-124 in Phoenix. When the series came to Milwaukee on April 19, Phoenix won in overtime - 128-127.
So Milwaukee is 0-2 on the short series, but the silver lining is they were one bucket away from winning each time.
Both teams hungry for chips
When it comes to cities who are hungry for NBA Championships, it doesn't get much hungrier than Milwaukee and Phoenix.
Milwaukee's one and only NBA title came in 1971 - the legendary squad with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Oscar Robertson, and so many others. Their last appearance in the Finals was in 1974, where they lost to the Boston Celtics.
The Phoenix Suns have never won a championship. They were founded as an expansion team in 1968 - the same year as the Milwaukee Bucks. Phoenix's last appearance in the Finals was 1976 - where they also fell to the Boston Celtics.
Let's go Bucks! Game 1 tips at 8 p.m. Tuesday on ABC.