Bucks Get Concerning Giannis Antetokounmpo Injury Update for First Playoff Game

The Milwaukee Bucks get bad news from their superstar ahead of their first-round matchup against the Indiana Pacers.
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks are preparing for their first-round matchup against the Indiana Pacers, scheduled to start on Sunday. As the Bucks enter a pivotal postseason that will determine the future of some of the key members of the franchise, they just received concerning news from their two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, there is "real doubt" about his status to play in Game 1.

Bucks News: Giannis Antetokounmpo's Game 1 Status in "Real Doubt"

Antetokounmpo left the game with a left calf strain against the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night. Even though he has avoided the worst prognosis, he was still due for 1-2 week rehab that would require daily treatment and evaluation. Considering that Game 1 falls inside of that two-week timeline, Giannis missing that game was to be expected.

However, the fact that it is being announced this early is concerning. There are still six days until that matchup and Charania saying that he is doubtful already could signal a longer absence than initially expected.

This would be a devastating blow for the Bucks. Last season, Milwaukee entered the playoffs with a similar situation. In the first-round matchup against the Miami Heat, the Greek Freak suffered an injury in Game 1 and missed the next two games. The Bucks fell to a 2-1 deficit and were never able to turn it around.

A similar result against the Pacers would be an absolute disaster. A season that started as a championship-or-bust campaign quickly got off track, causing Adrian Griffin to be replaced by Doc Rivers. An early first-round exit would bring about massive changes in the offseason.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had another excellent regular season as he is all but guaranteed to finish in the top five of MVP voting and make first-team All-NBA. If he isn't 100% for the playoffs, the Bucks' journey will be done sooner than anticipated.

Despite this news, the Bucks still have the second-best odds (+550) on FanDuel Sportsbook to win the Eastern Conference.

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