Milwaukee Bucks: Midseason injury report cards

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 4: (Photo by Matteo Marchi/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 4: (Photo by Matteo Marchi/Getty Images) /
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MILWAUKEE, WI – JANUARY 29: (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI – JANUARY 29: (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis Antetokounmpo has been very fortunate thus far in his career in terms of avoiding any serious injuries. This season however, the Greek Freak has started to pick up periodic DNPs thanks to ongoing knee pain.

There’s a chance that Antetokounmpo is dealing with some kind of patellar tendinitis, which is a chronic degenerative type of condition often associated with repetitive running and jumping. As such, it’s certainly not unusual for NBA players.

Like any chronic degenerative condition, the best way to manage it is by managing the load to the joint. In layman’s terms, leading the league in minutes played is the exact opposite of what should have been happening with Antetokounmpo and his knee. Thankfully since Joe Prunty’s appointment, his minutes have been reduced slightly and he and the team appear to be reaping the rewards.

Perhaps more encouraging for Antetokounmpo is the reduction in the swarming defense, previously played under Jason Kidd’s regime.

When looking at injuries and playing time, it’s important to note what’s actually happening in those minutes. Playing 30 minutes under two different defensive structures will lead to two very different outcomes on players’ bodies. Currently, the scheme the Bucks’ are employing involves less effort, comparatively, in switching and swarming. Antetokounmpo, and the rest of the team, appear to be benefiting from the reduced strain on that end of the floor.

Under Prunty, Antetokounmpo is averaging 26.4 points, 11.5 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 0.9 steals and 1.6 blocks, all while playing two minutes less a game. It is likely the Bucks will continue to employ periodic rest days for Antetokounmpo as the playoffs draw near.

As of right now however, his current usage appears to be a lot more manageable when thinking about his long term future in the league, which can only be seen as a huge positive.