Bucks Brace For Giannis Antetokounmpo To Miss Game 1 vs. Pacers

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NBA Analysis Network

Due to a left calf strain, the Milwaukee Bucks are gearing up to potentially start their first-round NBA playoff series without Giannis Antetokounmpo, their two-time MVP. Team sources, however, hope he could return later in the series following treatment.

According to ESPN, Antetokounmpo is currently undergoing intensive treatment on his calf. Khris Middleton emphasized their approach during practice, stating, “Until we know if he’s playing or not, we’re going to prepare as if he’s not playing. Simple as that.”

Beyond Antetokounmpo’s situation, Bucks coach Doc Rivers shared that Damian Lillard did not participate in Tuesday’s practice. Lillard has been dealing with groin and adductor injuries, although an MRI confirmed no major issues.

“We feel like—let’s get him a little more rest. He’s still doing conditioning and stuff like that, but we went [5-on-5] a lot today, and we didn’t want him out there,” Rivers said. “We want him to be as close to 100% as possible if you can be that at this point.”

NBA NEWS & PLAYOFFS: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks, Indiana Pacers Updates

The Bucks, seeded third, will face the sixth-seeded Indiana Pacers this Sunday in Milwaukee, a team that took four out of five regular-season games against them.

Antetokounmpo, who missed the final three regular-season games after suffering a non-contact injury, ended the season with remarkable averages: 30.4 points on 61% shooting, 11.5 rebounds, and 6.5 assists. He has set an NBA record as the first player to average 30 points per game on 60% shooting.

NBA NEWS & PLAYOFFS: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks, Indiana Pacers Updates

Middleton also spoke about the team is adjustments in Antetokounmpo’s absence, particularly focusing on offensive strategies that include both him and Lillard.

“It’s a work in progress. Trying to figure out how we can both create advantages for ourselves and the team,” Middleton said. “We’ve been working on that. It’s going to be a weeklong process, and hopefully, we can build on that as we go and once Giannis gets back.”

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