Milwaukee Bucks: All eyes on Giannis Antetokounmpo’s status for NBA Finals

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - JULY 03: (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GEORGIA - JULY 03: (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

The Milwaukee Bucks are in the NBA Finals for the first time since 1974 and the burning question everyone has on their minds is whether superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo will be ready for action.

A week after suffering a hyperextended left knee that forced him out of Games 5 and 6 of the Bucks’ triumphant Eastern Conference Finals series with the Atlanta Hawks, all signs are pointing to Antetokounmpo improbably returning in time for the start of the Finals.

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ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Malika Andrews reported hours before Game 1 of the Bucks’ Finals series with the Phoenix Suns that Antetokounmpo is receiving around-the-clock treatment after being upgraded to questionable earlier Tuesday afternoon:

"“Antetokounmpo has continued around-the-clock treatment on the knee with hopes of becoming cleared to play Tuesday night, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Malika Andrews. It is expected that his availability will be a game-time decision.”"

That comes after Antetokounmpo was originally labeled as doubtful on Monday night for Game 1 due to his injury.

The Milwaukee Bucks’ hopes for an NBA title rests on Giannis Antetokounmpo’s health

Antetokounmpo thankfully avoided any structural damage in his original injury during Game 4 of the Bucks’ series with the Hawks. But now faced with his first shot at an NBA championship, Antetokounmpo appears set to make the biggest gamble with his body if it means winning a title.

The two-time MVP did get some on-court work after the Bucks arrived in Phoenix over the holiday weekend, though Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer declined to go into further detail as far as Antetokounmpo’s health is to be considered.

To their credit, the Bucks managed to book their first trip to the Finals by weathering the storm without their leading superstar. It was undoubtedly a tall task and that test will only be made harder, given the team that stands in the way of winning their second championship in their franchise history.

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It has been 50 years since the Bucks have won an NBA Championship and now is their prime opportunity to bring the Larry O’Brien Trophy to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. And the health of Antetokounmpo will certainly be intertwined with the Bucks’ ability to come out on top as this year’s NBA champions.