The top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks head into Game 4 in serious need of a win, looking to avoid a 3-1 hole against the Miami Heat. Thankfully, the Bucks will have their best player back. Giannis Antetokounmpo has been cleared to return from a back injury after warming up pregame on Monday night, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report and TNT.
Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium first reported Monday morning that Giannis was set to return, barring any pregame setbacks.
This is absolutely huge for the Bucks considering The Greek Freak is not only the heartbeat of their team but arguably the most dominant player in the Association. Giannis took a nasty fall in Game 1 and landed right on his tailbone, ultimately leaving that contest early. The MRI came back clean, but he’s also dealing with a ligament issue in his wrist, too.
Antetokounmpo is just one of many star players dealing with an injury in these playoffs. However, the most important thing is the Bucks big man is going to suit up Monday in a game where Milwaukee essentially must win.
They were blown out of the water on Saturday, losing 121-99. The Bucks just really lack that cutthroat edge when Antetokounmpo isn’t on the floor. Many believed Mike Budenholzer’s squad would steamroll the Heat, but that has been far from the case.
Regardless, the Bucks are still one of the title favorites. But if Giannis can’t stay healthy, those championship aspirations are out the window.
Antetokounmpo averaged 31.1 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 5.7 assists per night during the regular season. That production is sorely missed and, hopefully, he can hit the ground running in Game 4. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 PM ET.
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