NBA conference finals winners and losers: Chris Paul earns his moment; Trae Young arrives; injuries ruin fun

It’s been an arduous journey with plenty of basketball casualties, but we’ve finally reached the 2021 NBA Finals. With Saturday’s 118-107 Game 6 win over the Atlanta Hawks, the Milwaukee Bucks earned the right to play the Phoenix Suns for the NBA championship, starting on Tuesday.

The Bucks will make their first Finals appearance since 1974, with their only title coming in 1971, while the Suns last made the Finals in 1993 and have never won an NBA championship. Needless to say, one of these fan bases is going to be absolutely jubilant in a couple of weeks.

Before we move on to the Finals, however, let’s take a quick look back at an entertaining, intriguing pair of conference finals matchups and designate some winners and losers.

Probably the biggest story of the postseason, Paul will make the first NBA Finals appearance of his 16-year, Hall of Fame career after a masterful clinching game against the Los Angeles Clippers in which he scored 31 of his 41 points in the second half. Paul’s legacy isn’t in doubt given his career numbers and accomplishments, but a championship would at least bump him up a couple of rungs on the all-time hierarchies.

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