PHOENIX – The Suns’ dominant win against the Milwaukee Bucks Thursday night had fans flying high, with many using #SunsinFour on Twitter to express their thoughts about how well the team might perform in this NBA Finals.
The only problem: If the Suns win in four games, they would secure the title in Milwaukee rather than in Phoenix. The team won its first three playoff series away from home, defeating the Los Angeles Lakers, Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Clippers. The Suns lead this seven-game series, 2-0.
Fans welcomed them home at the airport after they defeated the Clippers, even though it was almost midnight by the time the team landed, showing the intense fandom the Valley has for the Suns right now.
Twitter user @BrooksBurner1 replied to a Bucks hype video featuring Giannis Antetokounmpo, saying, “We gonna give y’all one game so we can close it out at home. suns in 5.”
Antetokounmpo has noticed the energy in Phoenix Suns Arena and is looking forward to having that edge in Milwaukee.
“It’s always good to play at home in front of your fans,” he said after Thursday’s 118-108 loss.
One group of Suns fans won’t mind if the series comes back home.
The Native American Basketball Invitational Foundation traditionally plays its final game at Phoenix Suns Arena. This year, it was scheduled for Saturday, July 17, the same day that Game 5 will be played if necessary.
Despite disappointment that they won’t play their championship games on an NBA court, the players from the NABI title teams will attend a potential Game 5 thanks to Robert Shippy. The owner of Rolling Plains Construction committed to buying tickets for both the boys and girls champions.
“It is hard not to feel the tremendous excitement of our Phoenix Suns advancing to the NBA Finals and look at this situation as turning lemons into a real tasty batch of lemonade,” GinaMarie Scarpa, NABI Foundation’s president and CEO said in a press release.
Now, instead of hoping for a Suns’ sweep, NABI participants might be hoping they lose one so they can watch the team be crowned champions.
Another factor that might mean Suns fans want to wait for Game 5 to sweeten their victory is the knowledge that Jerry Colangelo will be at Game 5. The beloved former Suns owner is a fan favorite who never won a title and will be heading to the Tokyo Olympics with Team USA right after the series.
Colangelo doesn’t have mixed emotions about a Suns’ sweep, though.
“I’ll be there if there is a Game 5,” Colangelo said. “But a sweep? You can’t not want that.”
It’s difficult for a team to sweep in the NBA Finals. In 75 years, the NBA has seen only 10 finals sweeps. The last came when the Golden State Warriors swept the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2018.
Whether Suns fans want them to win in four or not, it will be a difficult task. However, with performances like those in the first two games, it could be possible.
However it ends, guard Devin Booker is grateful for the support he has received this season.
“That’s real love. That’s a relationship that it’s hard to explain in words,” he said after his team won their series against the Clippers. “I tell people all the time, ‘Phoenix is my third home.’”
If it does go to Game 5, it won’t be cheap. Most secondary ticket sites have Game 5 tickets starting at $1,000 or more.