Will Milwaukee star Giannis Antetokounmpo be available to play in Game 1 of the NBA Finals as the Bucks face the Suns in Phoenix?
The Milwaukee Bucks are going into Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Suns with uncertainty still hovering over Giannis Antetokounmpo.
The star forward injured his knee in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals and he hasn’t been able to play since.
So will he be ready to go on Tuesday in Game 1?
Giannis Antetokounmpo injury update: Bucks star still day-to-day
According to Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer, Antetokounmpo is “day-to-day.”
“It’s just a day-to-day thing,” Budenholzer said during a press conference. “We’ll update it when appropriate. The conversations between he and myself or he and the sports [medicine team], it’s kind of private. We’ll see where he is each day.”
Before the Bucks bested the Hawks in Game 6, there was talk of Antetokounmpo making it back for a potential Game 7 in that series.
That doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be good to go for Game 1 of the Finals. The stakes are different. In a Game 7 scenario, Milwaukee’s postseason fate would have been on the line. In this instance, the Bucks can afford to proceed with a little bit more caution.
Antetokounmpo has had an exceptional postseason in his sixth playoff run with the Bucks. He’s averaging a playoff career-best with 28.3 points per game. He’s also adding 12.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists.
Without Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee relied on big performances from across the lineup. Four players, including Brook Lopez, Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday and Bobby Portis, had more than 20 points in Game 5.
Game 6 featured star turns from Middleton and Holiday once more as they saw off the Hawks.
The Bucks can take heart in the way others responded in Antetokounmpo’s absence, though they’ll certainly want the big man back as soon as possible.