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Update provided on Giannis Antetokounmpo injury, status for Game 2

Milwaukee Bucks star forward and two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo exited early in their series-opening game against the Miami Heat on Sunday with a lower back contusion and did not return to action.

Giannis suffered the injury with less than two minutes remaining in the first quarter and the top-seeded Bucks down 31-21. Eventually, Miami would pull off the road win to open the first round of the NBA Playoffs by the score of 130-117. Needless to say, Giannis’ absence for the final three-plus quarters impacted the game’s outcome.

Unfortunately for the Bucks, it’s looking less likely that Antetokounmpo will suit up in what can be called a must-win at home Wednesday evening.

The Bucks released their first injury report for the game, tabbing Giannis as doubtful to go. This is somewhat interesting in that Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer expressed optimism after Tuesday’s practice that the Greek Freak would be able to go.

“We have 24-plus hours before game time, so he’ll get treatment. And we’ll see how he feels. I think there has been a lot of progress and hopefully there’s more in the next day or so,” Budenholzer on Giannis Antetokounmpo’s status.

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Impact of Giannis Antetokounmpo injury on the Milwaukee Bucks

giannis antetokounmpo injury update
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

It’s not hyperbole to say that Giannis joins the likes of Joel Embiid, LeBron James, Nikola Jokic and Stephen Curry in being one of the most valuable players to his team in the Association.

This past regular season saw the Bucks post an 11-8 record when Giannis was sidelined. The team was 47-16 in the games that he played.

Game 1 against the underdog Heat saw Milwaukee give up a resounding 130 points. That included the starting frontcourt of Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo combining for 57 points, 14 rebounds and 18 assists. This was the difference in what ended up being a huge series-opening loss.

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo stats (2022-23): 31.1 PPG, 11.8 RPG, 5.7 APG, 55% shooting

As you can see, Giannis put up otherworldly numbers during the regular season. He’s an NBA MVP finalist. If the forward is sidelined on Wednesday, it will have major ramifications on the broader Eastern Conference Playoffs. That’s especially true should Milwaukee lose a second consecutive game at home to Miami.

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