Giannis Antetokounmpo’s real condition amid 5-game absence for Bucks
Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo has now missed five straight games with what is being reported as knee soreness. There is always worry when anyone is listed on the report with “soreness” because it is almost certainly non-representative of the actual injury. It can often mean chronic issues or some problems with inflammation or tendonitis that the team wants to keep quiet.
However, there is some good news for Bucks fans. Coach Mike Budenholzer has stated that Giannis has gone through shootaround and is mobile.
Budenholzer, on Giannis Antetokounmpo: "He did some stuff at shootaround, so I think he's in a good place and making progress, but won't play tonight."
Me: Do you have a timetable for Antetokounmpo's return?
— Eric Nehm (@eric_nehm) April 11, 2021
The Bucks are currently 32-20 and third in the Eastern Conference. Giannis Antetokounmpo, the reigning NBA MVP, is having another MVP-caliber season. He has been slightly underrated in the MVP discussion this year, but he is still an incredible two-way player as he is averaging 28.8 points per game on 56.5 percent shooting.
The Bucks are currently in the midst of a three-game slide without Giannis. They have lost to the Golden State Warriors, Dallas Mavericks and Charlotte Hornets in those last three contests, and only one of those games were particularly close.
Milwaukee is slightly better off going forward than they have been in the last few games. Giannis is still going to be out, but Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday are expected to be back. Holiday just got a big contract extension and has proven himself to be a big part of their future.
Budenholzer and Co. will need to turn things around to compete for a higher seed. They are solidly four games ahead of the Atlanta Hawks and the Hornets. However, Milwaukee is 3.5 games behind the Brooklyn Nets and the Philadelphia 76ers. Getting a top two seed could go a long way in the playoffs. Having home court advantage in the second round could be useful.
However, having a healthy Giannis in the playoffs is the foremost concern for the Bucks and that is absolutely the right way to go about it.