MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo left the staff’s 130-117 loss to the Miami Heat in Game 1 of their first-round playoff sequence with a decrease again contusion. He suffered no structural injury, however his standing for Game 2 and past will rely on how his again responds. The Bucks are optimistic that Antetokounmpo will likely be obtainable for Game 2, per Shams Charania, however the two-time MVP can also be reportedly coping with a ligament difficulty in his wrist.
“There was an X-ray that was clear right here, so we’ll monitor him, see how he does,” Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer mentioned. “See how he wakes up, how he feels the remainder of tonight and tomorrow.”
In the center of the primary quarter, Antetokounmpo took a swing go from Joe Ingles and drove onerous to the basket. As he took off for the rim from simply outdoors the cost circle, Kevin Love slid beneath in an try and take a cost. Antetokounmpo had his legs taken out within the course of and crashed onerous to the ground on his decrease again.
The play was dominated a blocking foul on Love, and Antetokounmpo remained within the sport to shoot his free throws, then continued enjoying for just a few extra minutes earlier than testing on the finish of his traditional first quarter stint. Upon exiting the sport, he went straight to the locker room, however was again out on the bench for the beginning of the second quarter.
With 9:56 remaining within the second quarter, Antetokounmpo checked again into the sport and went via a sequence of twists and jumps close to mid-court to try to loosen up his again. He solely lasted a bit over a minute, nevertheless, and subbed again out with 8:33 on the clock. Moving gingerly, he once more went proper down the tunnel to the locker room and was formally dominated out a short while later.
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The Bucks have been trailing by eight when Antetokounmpo left the sport and by no means really recovered. A run within the third quarter briefly reduce the deficit to a few, however they trailed by double digits for big parts of the second half and finally misplaced by 13.
“That’s our man, we hope he is gonna be properly and again on the market with us Wednesday,” Khris Middleton mentioned. “But we simply gotta concentrate on who’s on the market on the similar time. They had a man go down additionally they usually continued to compete and play properly. Same mindset we tried to have. Sucks that our man goes down or cannot return, however we nonetheless acquired a job to do on the market.”
Milwaukee has loads of expertise enjoying with out Antetokounmpo, each this season when he missed 19 video games and within the 2021 playoffs when he suffered a hyperextended knee within the Eastern Conference finals. It goes with out saying, although, that they would favor to have their two-time MVP on the ground.
“We don’t desire him to be damage, however it’s nonetheless subsequent man up mentality,” Jrue Holiday mentioned. “We have sufficient expertise on this staff to cowl for him till he comes again or presumably comes again. Again, I simply do not need to see him damage as a result of I do know what it appears like, particularly Game 1 of the playoffs.”
During the common season, Antetokounmpo averaged 31.1 factors, 11.8 rebounds and 5.7 assists per sport. He was the one participant within the league to place up no less than 30 factors, 10 rebounds and 5 assists an evening, and the Bucks have been 47-16 when he performed in comparison with 11-8 when he sat.
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