Giannis Antetokounmpo wanted to return in Game 4, asked Bucks to tape injured ankle
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that Giannis asked team trainers to tape up his ankle and get him back on the court after he left the game in the second quarter. However, the team decided to keep him out of the contest due to his inability to plant or jump off the leg in question.
Woj added there were some who were unsure Antetokounmpo would even play on Sunday, though his status for Game 5 remains unclear even in light of recent events:
After leaving Game 4, Giannis Antetokounmpo was encouraging the Bucks to tape up his right ankle and let him return — but he couldn't plant or jump off the sprain, per sources. Around the Bucks, many didn't expect he could play today. No one dares rule him out yet for Game 5.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 6, 2020
The Greek Freak left the arena in a protective boot:
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpears) September 6, 2020
Giannis Antetokounmpo was a force to be reckoned with while he was on the floor, scoring 19 points and pulling down four rebounds in just 11 minutes of action.
However, the Greek Freak would be forced to watch his teammates fight for their playoff lives. Fortunately, Antetokounmpo’s co-star, Khris Middleton, delivered when the the Bucks needed it most.
Middleton scored 30 points between the third quarter and overtime period, including a dagger of a 3-pointer and two clutch free-throws which ultimately sealed the deal for Milwaukee.
The Bucks now have some life heading into Game 5, though Antetokounmpo’s status figures to be a cloud looming over a seemingly impossible task.
No NBA team has ever come back from a 0-3 deficit in the playoffs, and the Bucks might be forced to win a second straight game against a tough and motivated Heat team.
Then again, perhaps Antetokounmpo can take the court and give Milwaukee the spark it needs to launch an epic comeback.