Checking in on Giannis
While all Bucks fans experienced sweet relief by the end of the team’s intense overtime win, the status of superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo was certainly on the minds of the entire fanbase.
Entering the night with plenty of monitoring of his knee after being sidelined last time out, Antetokounmpo’s impact was very much muted throughout the first half. The three-time All-Star’s fortunes changed in the second half as he resembled his explosive self with a few emphatic slam dunks as well as some impressive rejections coming on help scenarios.
But as the Bucks searched for any signs of life to fend off the Kings down the stretch in regulation, Antetokounmpo’s limitations became more pronounced as he was laboring by the end of the fourth quarter. That led to the 24-year-old seeing all of 11 seconds of run in overtime having hit his minute restriction as Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel noted following head coach Mike Budenholzer’s postgame media availability.
All in all, Antetokounmpo put up 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field (0-of-3 from three, 3-of-5 from the charity stripe), seven rebounds, two assists, as well as two blocks, one turnover and was a -24 in over 24 minutes of burn.
No matter the result, the topic of Antetokounmpo’s health and maintenance will surely be a big one over the duration of the Bucks’ current road trip, so don’t expect it to go away any time soon.
Speaking of which, the Bucks will continue their West coast swing by taking on the Los Angeles Lakers Friday night for a nationally televised duel set to tip off at 9.30 p.m. central time.