When Giannis Anetokounmpo fell hard in the second half of Game 1 against the Miami Heat, the Milwaukee Bucks held their breath. The former Defensive player of the Year and two-time MVP was driving towards the rim, when Kevin Love fell under him.
Antetokounmpo screamed in pain, and his teammates had to carry him to the locker rooms. He did not play in the Bucks’ 130-117 loss. Heat leads 1-0 in Eastern Conference Semifinals.
After the game, the Bucks received some good news. Mike Budenholzer stated that Antetokounmpo’s X-ray showed that there was no structural damage or fracture to his back. Budenholzer stated that they would see how Antetokounmpo is feeling tomorrow but was optimistic that he’ll be ready for Game 2
“He is a tough guy.” He is a competitor. Budenholzer stated that he wanted to be with his teammates. ” I’m interested to see what he does tomorrow and overnight.
How will Giannis Antetokounmpo’s injury impact the series?
Giannis Antietokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks reacts to a basket.
The Bucks’ injury to Antetokounmpo is a big concern, especially since they are facing a very tough opponent, the Heat. They eliminated the Bucks in just five games during the first round 2021 NBA Playoffs. The Heat are a well-balanced and deep team led by Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. Kyle Lowry is also a part of this team. The Heat also have a solid defensive strategy that can limit Antetokounmpo’s effectiveness by creating a wall in the paint to force him to shoot outside.
Antetokounmpo is the Bucks’ best scorer, rebounder and defender. He needs to be aggressive and healthy. His teammates such as Khris Midton, Jrue holiday, and Brook Lopez can also benefit from his shooting. Antetokounmpo also places pressure on Heat’s defense, and causes their big men to commit fouls.
The Bucks’ offense and defense will be hampered if Antetokounmpo is absent or not at 100%. Middleton and Holiday will have to take on more scoring and their bench players such as Bobby Portis and Pat Connaughton will also need to be more energetic.
The Bucks hope that Antetokounmpo can recover quickly from his injury. The Bucks cannot afford to be 0-2 down in the series. That would leave them in a big hole. They are counting on their star to help them win Game 2 and the entire series.