Milwaukee Bucks: Thanasis Antetokounmpo ruled out for Finals Game 5

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JULY 11 (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JULY 11 (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

Gearing up for Game 5 tonight versus the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Finals, the Milwaukee Bucks received some unwanted news just hours before tip-off.

First reported by The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Thanasis Antetokounmpo will be sidelined for tonight’s matchup after abruptly entering the league’s health and safety protocols. The current specifics of the situation remain unclear aside from the clear-cut certainty that the 28-year-old will indeed not be able to participate in this pivotal matchup in Phoenix, and that his absence is a blow for this team.

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Although Thanasis has not been a major rotational player in this series by playing just two total minutes thus far, everyone knows the high-octane energy he brings to the bench.

It is what has helped the forward climb the ranks in the fan-favorite rankings as he will often be seen hyping the team up on the sidelines or making the hustle plays consistently when he checks into the game. The Bucks will now be without the older Antetokounmpo tonight as they prepare for a critical test on the road.

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With this news breaking merely hours before a Game 5 matchup in the NBA Finals, this is certainly a scary situation for the Bucks. No news has been further reported yet regarding any other players entering the protocols aside from Thanasis due to a potential outbreak, but fans will undoubtedly be on full alert waiting for the latest updates surrounding the current situation.

While this will garner more attention because it is happening in the midst of the NBA Finals, this is not the first time the Bucks have had a run-in with the health and safety protocols this year. Many will remember that they indeed experienced a COVID-related issue earlier in the season when starting point guard Jrue Holiday entered the protocols and missed the following 10 games in what was eventually revealed as a positive test.

With the news recently just coming out, the circumstances involving Thanasis remain behind closed doors, but this does not bode well for his chance to potentially return to the court in this series. A positive test would practically stamp that notion, but speculation is certainly not the way to go in these types of situations as it does no good. Whatever the case might be, we hope Thanasis is alright and potentially able to return to the team at some point in the near future.

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More information will likely come to the light as time progresses and be sure to stay tuned here for the latest updates involving the entire situation as it unfolds.