2021 NBA Finals Predictions: Picks from the MomentRanks Team

2021 NBA Finals Predictions: Picks from the MomentRanks Team

by Christian Hardy

7/6/2021

Who would’ve seen this NBA Finals matchup coming a year ago? Or even at the start of the Playoffs? In the most unlikely of matchups, the Phoenix Suns lead by future Hall of Famer Chris Paul and rising star Devin Booker meet the Milwaukee Bucks and a banged-up Giannis Anteteokounmpo, the two-time MVP who finally gets his first shot at an NBA title.

An unlikely matchup and a lingering injury to one of the NBA’s biggest stars makes for a tough series to predict. But the MomentRanks team took their best shot at forecasting the series.

Overall, nine members of our team chose the Suns to take home the chip, and three chose the Bucks. That’s about in line with Vegas odds, where the Suns are -189 (or 5:8) to win the series at BetMGM. You can find all of our predictions below.

Jamal Hashim, Head of Engineering

Bucks in 7

The Bucks are the more talented team. 3-4 games won by the Suns against the Clippers without Kawhi were extremely tight games. And even though the Bucks barely got past the Nets, a KD-led team >>> a Paul George-led team. As long as Giannis Antetokounmpo is fully back by Game 3, I think the Bucks will win it.

Will Hay, Co-founder & Head of Product

Suns in 6

The Bucks just don’t have what it takes; Giannis has shaky knees and Devin Booker is a baller.

Cole McMahon, Staff Writer

Suns in 6

I expect Devin Booker to have a huge series now that he’s had some time for his face to heal. Ayton will continue to eat and it just seems like it’s Chris Paul’s time. The Bucks will hang around if they can shoot it well but I don’t see them winning four games as things stand now. Suns have the better coach and are mentally tougher. 

Jordan Kligman, NBA Top Shot writer

Suns in 6

Chris Paul has been waiting for this moment ever since he got drafted 16 years ago, and I don’t see him squandering this opportunity, especially with an injured Giannis. The Suns are a perfect blend of young guns and crafty veterans, with a coach in Monty Williams who knows how to win. 

If Giannis hadn’t hyperextended his knee, I’d be picking the Bucks, but that’s not the case. Apparently, Giannis is progressing, but do the Bucks really want to rush Giannis back after what we saw with Kevin Durant tearing his Achiles in 2019? Is it worth putting your franchise player in harm’s way for a ring? Time will tell.

Corporate Trash, Staff Writer

Bucks in 6

Do I know much about the NBA? Nope. But when a star is out, the rest of the team will rally. Bryn Forbes is a sleeper. đź‘€

Danny Adkins, Co-founder & CEO

Suns in 4

I was gonna say Suns in 6 but f*** it. Suns in 4. Bucks are trash, go Hawks.

Devin Booker is the most electric scorer in the NBA outside of Trae Young. Giannis is coming off an injury, and the Bucks had to fend off the most fearsome team in the NBA for six games so they’ll be tired. 

Chris Paul drops buckets as consistently as the MomentRanks team does. Coach Bud will forever regret leaving the Hawks and dwindling into irrelevance. Jrue Holiday is nice tho, he might make one of the games close.

Brian Kelleher, Staff Writer

Suns in 7

Chris Paul realizes this will be his last chance to win a title and he won’t allow his team to lose. Devin Booker is way more talented than Khris Middleton and will show it in this series. I think the Suns and Monty Williams have a big coaching advantage over the Bucks with Mike Budenholzer’s inability to make in-game adjustments and this will become apparent in Game 7.

Thomas Jiang, Software Engineer

Suns in 6

The Suns were lucky in every round; if that continues in the Finals, the title should be theirs.

Brandon Sowle, Host of Shot Talkin’ and The Daily Play

Suns in 7

Bucks will keep it competitive even while Giannis can’t play, but the Suns just have too many answers.

Andrew Maybin, Lead of Graphic Design

Suns in 6

Devin Booker ascends and CP3 finally gets a chip.

Zac MacDonald, Video Creator

Bucks in 6

If Giannis can come back near 80 percent, they handle the Suns. I think the supporting cast manages to steal one of the first two games, then hopefully Giannis is healthy enough to pull them through.

Christian Hardy, Lead of Content

Suns in 6

Obviously, the question of the series is whether Giannis Antetokounmpo will be at full health — but we know he was considering a return for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals if necessary. Either way, the Bucks will be competitive, but I tend to believe that Giannis won’t quite be himself when he returns, and the Bucks are going to suffer as a team.

On the other side of things, a bet on the Suns is a bet on the best true point guard of my generation and an emerging star in Devin Booker. The composition of this Suns team just makes it a tough out for the Bucks, as they are so well-rounded from top to bottom. I believe the Suns’ supporting cast behind Paul’s leadership will get the job done more consistently than the Bucks with their banged up superstar. 

That supporting cast starts with the emergence of Deandre Ayton, who will continue being a problem in the paint on his way to a max contract, and Jae Crowder, who I have faith in to keep Khris Middleton in check in another high-leverage situation for the veteran.