The Milwaukee Bucks will be without their best player tonight as Giannis Antetokounmpo was officially ruled out for tonight’s first-round matchup against the Miami Heat.
Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer tells reporters that Giannis Antetokounmpo will be OUT for Game 2 tonight.— Eric Nehm (@eric_nehm) April 19, 2023
Antetokounmpo was not on the floor during his normal pregame warmup time.
Fans were given glimmers of hope as Giannis – who historically recovers from injury faster than a speeding bullet – was originally listed as doubtful, but then upgraded to questionable earlier this afternoon. However, he did not appear during pre-game warmups at Fiserv Forum alongside Khris Middleton, which is a part of his normal routine.
Without Giannis, the Bucks have a massive task ahead of them, though the Miami Heat are also weakened by injury. Shooting guard Tyler Herro broke two bones in his right hand and will be out for the foreseeable future. Most fans would argue (including Kyle below) that Milwaukee still holds the advantage in this series, though their advantage in this game is more questionable.
Even w/o Giannis, the Bucks should still win— Kyle Carr (@KyleCoche) April 19, 2023
Before tonight’s game, Mike Budenholzer spoke to the media about how Giannis became questionable earlier today and his availability moving forward:
Here's Mike Budenholzer on Giannis and the thought process of making him questionable earlier today.— Gabe Stoltz (@Stoltzy3) April 19, 2023
Ultimately, it was determined that he'll be out tonight but the team will continue to monitor him.
"He's improving, which gives us optimism that he might be able to play." pic.twitter.com/hFNfF2My4g
In any case, evening the series at 1-1 is the goal, and it’ll be harder to reach without Giannis available.
See you in the Game Thread.