As Game 1 of the NBA Finals approaches, the most important storyline of the season-ending collection is the standing of Bucks celebrity Giannis Antetokounmpo — and whether or not he’ll have the ability to play in opposition to the Suns within the opening recreation.
“The Greek Freak” missed the final two-plus video games of the Japanese Convention finals in opposition to the Hawks, exiting Game 4 with a hyperextended left knee in Atlanta. The Hawks bludgeoned Milwaukee 110-88 after his exit, however Antetekounmpo’s teammates stepped up in Games 5 and 6 to safe a 4-2 collection win and ship Milwaukee to its first NBA Finals since 1974 — all with out the two-time defending NBA MVP.
That mentioned, Milwaukee nonetheless is unsure as to when precisely Antetkounmpo will have the ability to play in opposition to the Suns, who alongside Chris Paul, are on the lookout for their first NBA championship. The Bucks have a minimal of 4 video games to get Antetokounmpo again into the lineup, however the franchise clearly would like him to get again as quickly as doable.
MORE: With or with out Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton has established himself as Bucks’ nearer
Listed here are the most recent updates on Antetokounmpo forward of Tuesday’s series-opening recreation for the NBA Finals:
Will Giannis Antetokounmpo play vs. Suns?
The Bucks on Sunday launched a short clip of Antetkounmpo coming into the group’s aircraft with the caption, “Off to Phoenix.”
Whereas that means he’ll have the ability to play in some unspecified time in the future within the collection, it doesn’t present any clue as to when (furthermore, the group’s social media account shouldn’t be essentially a supply of official group information or updates).
Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer on Monday offered a temporary replace to Antetkounmpo’s standing, saying he was “making progress.” He added no different updates to his standing, which remains to be within the air for Game 1. That primarily is what he mentioned following the group’s Game 6 win within the Japanese Convention finals:
“I mean, (Giannis) and the sports performance team, they have been together a long time. It’s special to watch their relationship. It’s special to watch the communication, the trust that he has. You have to listen to the player and then you have to listen to the sports performance group, and at some point, Jon Horst and myself are part of the conversations, but it’s just a day-to-day thing. We’ll update it when appropriate. The conversations between he and myself and he and the sports performance group, it’s kind of private and we’ll see where he is each day.”
The NBA on Monday mentioned Antetokounmpo wouldn’t apply that day forward of Game 1 of the finals, including that he was excused from collaborating in media availability due to his unsure standing. Nevertheless, NBA TV’s Jared Greenberg reported Monday that, whereas Antetkounmpo wasn’t with the group, he was in a non-public gymnasium in Phoenix — in entrance of a number of individuals related to the group, together with trainers, coaches, individuals in his personal camp and entrance workplace executives — making an attempt to get game-ready for Tuesday’s collection opener.
Whereas Greenberg reported Antetkounmpo’s standing was nonetheless unsure, he mentioned it was described to him that “Giannis is going to fight tooth and nail to be in the lineup.”
Greenberg additionally famous that there is solely someday between Games 1 and a pair of of the NBA Finals, however two days between Games 2 and three and Games 3 and 4, respectively. The Bucks could think about using Tuesday and Wednesday as extra relaxation days for Antetkounmpo, guaranteeing he is adequately rested and ready to enter the collection throughout Game 2.
Bucks vs. Suns Game 1 damage report
(This part will likely be up to date with damage reviews from the Bucks and Suns forward of Game 1)
|Bucks||Giannis Antetokounmpo||Unsure||Left knee hyperextension|