Giannis Antetokounmpo sustained a lower back contusion in the Milwaukee Bucks’ Game 1 loss against the Miami Heat during the first-round playoff series.
The injury occurred in the middle of the first quarter when Antetokounmpo took a swing pass and drove hard to the basket but was taken out by Kevin Love’s slide to draw a charge. Antetokounmpo crashed hard to the floor on his lower back and was ruled out of the game shortly after.
According to Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer, Antetokounmpo suffered no structural damage, but his status for Game 2 and beyond will depend on how his back responds. The team is optimistic that he will be available for Game 2, but reports also indicate that the two-time MVP is dealing with a ligament issue in his wrist.
Antetokounmpo remained in the game after the fall to shoot his free throws and played for a few more minutes before exiting the game at the end of his usual first-quarter stint. He returned to the bench at the start of the second quarter but only lasted a little over a minute before being subbed back out due to his injury.
Following Antetokounmpo’s departure from the game, the Bucks found themselves behind by eight points and were unable to mount a comeback. Although they had a brief surge in the third quarter, narrowing the deficit to three, they struggled to keep up with the Miami Heat and fell behind by double digits for most of the second half. In the end, they suffered a 13-point loss.
The Bucks are no strangers to playing without Antetokounmpo, having done so during 19 regular season games this year and when he sustained a hyperextended knee during the 2021 playoffs in the Eastern Conference finals.However, they would prefer to have their star player on the floor.
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s performance during the regular season was nothing short of extraordinary, as he averaged 31.1 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 5.7 assists per game.
His remarkable consistency earned him the distinction of being the only player in the league to achieve the feat of scoring at least 30 points, grabbing ten rebounds, and distributing five assists per night.
The Bucks heavily relied on their star player, as evidenced by their record of 47-16 when he played, compared to 11-8 when he was absent. Antetokounmpo’s contributions were crucial to the team’s success, and his absence due to injury could have a significant impact on the Bucks’ playoff run.The Bucks will hope for a quick recovery for their star player as they prepare for Game 2 against the Miami Heat.