The Milwaukee Bucks decided to scratch star Giannis Antetokounmpo late ahead of their game against the Phoenix Suns on Sunday, in which they won 140-129, and head coach Doc Rivers explained the reasoning behind the move.

“It's not an injury. We're just concerned a little bit,” Doc Rivers said, via Eric Nehm of The Athletic. “Plus if you look at the schedule, you have one, two, three, four, five days off. So we planted it in him and he had to do it, which we were happy he decided to do.”

So now, the Bucks got the benefit of a win while resting their star player Giannis Antetokounmpo, hoping that he will be fresher come playoff time. He will rest until Wednesday, when the Bucks square off against the Boston Celtics on the road, which should be a great measuring stick game for Milwaukee.

Bucks adapting to Doc Rivers as head coach

The Bucks went on a bit of a downturn when Rivers took over for Adrian Griffin as head coach. They fell a bit down the Eastern Conference standings. Now, they are back in the second spot in the Eastern Conference.

Chasing down the Celtics in the Eastern Conference is likely unattainable. However, the Bucks are clearly taking the long-term approach down the stretch this season, hoping to keep Antetokounmpo healthy and ready to be a full go in the playoffs.

Rivers, despite his postseason failures that make him receive a lot of criticism, he is experienced in that setting. He will try to lead an experienced team to a championship. Antetokounmpo has won before, but Damian Lillard has not.

As the Bucks try to hold off the Cleveland Cavaliers and New York Knicks down the stretch this season, Rivers has demonstrated that he and his team have the big picture in mind as well.