Giannis Antetokounmpo left Game 1 of the Milwaukee Bucks’ first round series with the Miami Heat in the first quarter after falling on his back. Antetokounmpo was attacking the rim on the play when Miami’s Kevin Love slid over and tried to take a charge on him. Antetokounmpo went back to the locker room, got his back wrapped, then re-entered the game in the second quarter for about a minute before being pulled.
The Bucks ruled him out for Game 1 with a lower back contusion, and the Heat took a double-digit lead into halftime. Here’s the play Antetokounmpo was injured on:
Here’s the official report that Giannis is out for the rest of Game 1:
Bucks say Giannis Antetokounmpo is OUT for the rest of the game with a lower back contusion
— Jamal Collier (@JamalCollier) April 16, 2023
Antetokounmpo was injured on a very similar play to one that caused Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant to exit Game 1 of his team’s first round series vs. the Lakers on Sunday. Morant’s status is in jeopardy for Game 2 after injuring his wrist on a play when Anthony Davis slid in late to draw a charge. He reportedly couldn’t even do simple tasks with his wrist after the game even though the initial X-rays were negative. The Lakers went on to win Game 1 with Morant out.
The Bucks are the favorite entering the 2023 NBA Playoffs, but they obviously need Antetokounmpo healthy.
We’ll update this story as it develops.