Bucks Update Giannis Antetokounmpo's Status Ahead Of NBA Finals
By Jason Hall
July 6, 2021
Milwaukee Bucks all-star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo has reportedly been upgraded ahead of the NBA Finals.
ESPN's Malika Andrews reports Antetokounmpo has been upgraded from doubtful to questionable with Milwaukee set to face the Phoenix Suns in Game 1 on Tuesday (July 6) night.
The 2019-20 NBA MVP injured his left knee during following an awkward landing during the third quarter of Milwaukee's 110-88 loss to the Hawks in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals, which tied the series at 2-2.
The Bucks still managed to win Games 5 and 6 in Antetokounmpo's absence, clinching their first NBA Finals appearance since 1974.
Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo has been upgraded from doubtful to questionable on this afternoon’s injury report.— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) July 6, 2021
Antetokounmpo was averaging 26.5 points, 10.0 rebounds and 5.5 assists in the Eastern Conference Championship series prior to his injury.
The Hawks were also without their franchise player during the Eastern Conference Finals as point guard Trae Young missed the last two games due to a bone bruise in his right foot, which occurred when he took a step backward, landed on a referee's foot and came down awkwardly in Game 3.
Young was listed as questionable before playing in Saturday's series-clinching loss.
Several of the NBA all-stars have experienced injuries throughout the postseason, which gained the criticism of the league's biggest star, LeBron James, last month.
James shared a Twitter thread on the league's handling of the shortened offseason between the NBA Bubble and shortened 2020-21 season, which began just over two months later.
They all didn’t wanna listen to me about the start of the season. I knew exactly what would happen. I only wanted to protect the well being of the players which ultimately is the PRODUCT & BENEFIT of OUR GAME! These injuries isn’t just “PART OF THE GAME”. It’s the lack of PURE— LeBron James (@KingJames) June 16, 2021
James' Twitter rant came hours after reports of Los Angeles Clippers star Kawhi Leonard being ruled out indefinitely for Game 5 of the Clippers' Western Conference semifinals series against the Utah Jazz on June 16 night due to a knee injury, the Athletic's Shams Charania reported.
Charania also reported Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul's status for the Western Conference Finals was "up in the air" after entering the COVID-19 health and safety protocols following a positive test which ,"depending on an isolation period could be shorter for a vaccinated individual."
Paul has since returned to action, helping the Suns clinch their first NBA Finals appearance since 1993, while Leonard was inactive for the remainder of the Clippers' and Suns' Western Conference Finals series.
Harden experienced a hamstring injury during the opening minute of Game 1 before returning for Game 5 and being limited to just five points in a 114-108 win against the Bucks on June 15.
Irving was inactive after experiencing a right ankle sprain in a 107-96 loss at Milwaukee on June 13.
Additionally, James' teammate, Anthony Davis, experienced a groin injury in Game 4 of the Lakers' first-round series against the Suns, which forced Davis to miss Game 5.
Davis returned for Game 6 and played five minutes before re-injuring his groin and exiting the Lakers' series elimination loss.