The Milwaukee Bucks begin their playoff journey without Giannis Antetokounmpo due to a left calf strain

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Giannis Antetokounmpo (Credits:

The Milwaukee Bucks began their playoff journey on Sunday without Giannis Antetokounmpo, who was sidelined due to a left calf strain. This injury had kept the two-time MVP out of the Bucks’ last three regular-season games.

Bucks coach Doc Rivers confirmed that Antetokounmpo would not be playing in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series against the Indiana Pacers. Antetokounmpo had been doubtful for Sunday night’s game.

Rivers mentioned that Antetokounmpo’s condition had improved, but there was no clear timeline for his return to the court. Game 2 is scheduled for Tuesday in Milwaukee.

“We prepare with the players available,” Rivers stated. “Giannis has been doing a lot of work, but he hasn’t been able to join team activities. So, we’ve been focusing on our preparations with the players we have.”

Antetokounmpo had impressive stats against the Pacers this season, averaging 42.2 points, 13 rebounds, and 5.4 assists. He even set a franchise record by scoring 64 points in one game against Indiana.

The injury occurred during a game against the Boston Celtics on April 9 when Antetokounmpo struggled to run up the court and grabbed his left calf. He left the game and a subsequent MRI revealed the muscle strain.

Giannis Antetokounmpo

The Bucks won 4 out of 9 games when Antetokounmpo was absent during the regular season. This included losses in their last two games, causing them to drop from second to third place in the Eastern Conference.

Milwaukee has become used to playing without their key players this season. Antetokounmpo, Damian Lillard, and Khris Middleton, the top three players, were all available for only five out of the last 33 games.

Antetokounmpo was among the top players in the NBA this season, ranking second in scoring (30.4), sixth in rebounding (11.5), and 14th in assists (6.5). He made history by being the first player to average over 30 points per game while shooting at least 60% from the field.

Antetokounmpo has dealt with injuries in the playoffs before. In 2020, he missed the last game and a half of the second-round playoff series against Miami due to a sprained ankle.

During the 2021 Eastern Conference finals, he sat out the final two games because of a hyperextended knee. However, he returned and led the Bucks to their first championship since 1971. He was named Finals MVP after scoring 50 points in Game 6 to secure the title against the Phoenix Suns.

Last year, a bruised lower back forced Antetokounmpo out of Game 1 and caused him to miss the next two games in the Bucks’ first-round playoff series against Miami.


By Robert Jackson

An avid football fan (A red). And an Otaku by the definition of the word.

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