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The Milwaukee Bucks will attempt to become the first NBA team to ever overcome a 3-0 playoff deficit, but at least they won’t have to begin that monumental task without reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. The superstar forward suffered a sprained right ankle during the Bucks’ 115-100 loss to the Miami Heat in Friday’s Game 3, and he was originally listed as questionable for Sunday’s Game 4.
He went through warm-ups prior to Game 4, and is available to play, the Bucks announced.
How the ankle holds up will be something major to keep an eye on throughout Game 4. Antetokounmpo appeared to twist his ankle on a drive less than six minutes into Game 3. He stayed down on the floor for several moments before continuing to play. Antetokounmpo appeared to re-aggravate the injury multiple times throughout the rest of the game, but afterward, he said the ankle « wasn’t bothering me at all. » He finished with 21 points on 7-for-21 shooting to go with 16 rebounds and nine assists, though he scored just four points in the fourth quarter.
« He’s a guy who’s going to fight through everything. The medical, the sports performance group said he was good to go and keep playing, » Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said after the game. « Exactly how he felt and how he was affected — he’s out there competing and giving us everything he’s got. I thought he did a lot of things well. »
With Milwaukee’s season on the line, it was hard to imagine Antetokounmpo sitting out unless the injury was extremely serious. The fact that he will play is great news for the Bucks, but they will still have their hands full with a Heat team that has yet to lose in the playoffs and has dominated Milwaukee throughout the season.
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