Will Giannis Antetokounmpo be able to play Tuesday in Game 1 of the NBA Finals?
What about game 2? Game 3?
Biggest question mark ahead of the 2021 NBA Finals will double NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo play? If so, when? There is no official timeline (or even details of his injury). He missed the last two games of the Eastern Conference Finals after a horrific hyperextension of his left knee, and Coach Mike Budenholzer described his status as day to day.
“You have to listen to the player, then you have to listen to the sports performance group, and at some point [Bucks GM] Jon Horst and I are part of the conversations, but it’s just a day-to-day thing, ”Budenholzer said after the Bucks advanced to the final. “We will update it if necessary. The conversations between him and me and him and the sports performance group, it’s a bit private and we’ll see where he is each day.
Budenholzer has confirmed that Antetokounmpo did some fieldwork ahead of Game 6, the first fieldwork he has done since the injury. Budenholzer added that Antetokounmpo “was dying to be there” for the last two games. There had been reports that if the Eastern Conference Finals had been seven games, he would have played.
In his absence, the Olympian Khris Middleton stepped up with monster games to bring the Bucks to the final stage for the first time since Paul McCartney and Wings topped the charts with “Band on the Run, “and Flaming saddles was at the movies.
However, if the Bucks are to beat a warm, rested Suns team, they’ll need Antetokounmpo – and the perks he offers at both ends of the pitch – to do so.