Giannis Antetokounmpo didn’t take part in practice with on Tuesday, still recovering from the back contusion he suffered while taking a hard fall early in the postseason opener. Fortunately for the Milwaukee Bucks, though, the two-time MVP’s practice status seems unlikely to have any bearing on his availability for a pivotal Game 2 against the Miami Heat.
Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer expressed measured confidence that Antetokounmpo will be ready to play on Wednesday night at Fiserv Forum.
“We have 24-plus hours before gametime. He’ll get treatment. And we’ll see how he feels,” Budenholzer said of Antetokounmpo, per Eric Nehm of The Athletic. “I think there has been a lot of progress and hopefully there’s more in the next day or so.”
Giannis Antetokounmpo, remember, made a heroic return for the 2021 NBA Finals after going down with an ugly left knee injury in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals, forced to watch from the sidelines as his short-handed team dispatched of the Atlanta Hawks in six games. He was no worse for wear against the Phoenix Suns with a title on the line, dominating on both ends en route to taking home Finals MVP.
While that recent past is no fool-proof harbinger of Antetokounmpo’s prospective availability for Game 2, Milwaukee is apparently “optimistic” its franchise player will take the floor.
“I mean, I think if I’m being honest, I think there is an optimism [that Giannis Antetokounmpo will play in Game 2],” Budenholzer said. “Time is a little bit on our side, but I think that equation will flip, so yeah, I would say we’re optimistic.”
The Bucks face a near must-win on Wednesday after getting blown out by Miami in Game 1, immediately losing home-court advantage in the first round. Tipoff is set for Wednesday night at 6:00 (PT).
The post Bucks’ optimistic Giannis Antetokounmpo outlook ahead of Game 2 vs Heat despite missing practice appeared first on ClutchPoints.