Bucks’ Antetokounmpo (knee) out for Game 5 of Eastern finals
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo is out for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals on Thursday night.
The Milwaukee Bucks had said Wednesday the two-time MVP was doubtful after an MRI revealed he hyperextended his left knee during Game 4 against Atlanta. A revised injury report Thursday listed him as unable to play.
Antetokounmpo hurt his knee while trying to block a dunk attempt by Clint Capela in the third quarter of the Hawks’ 110-88 victory. He landed awkwardly, clutched his knee in obvious pain and remained down for several minutes before walking slowly to the locker room.
The Bucks and Hawks are tied at two games apiece. Antetokounmpo has been averaging 28.2 points, 12.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists in the postseason.
Bobby Portis is replacing Antetokounmpo in the starting lineup Thursday.
“It’s not something where you ... need to consciously think, ‘I need to do more,’ “ Bucks guard Pat Connaughton said after Thursday’s shootaround about the prospect of playing without Antetokounmpo. ”It’s just you’re ready for opportunities as they arise. Throughout the season, one of the, I would say, beautiful things about our team is you’re called to do different things on different nights.”
Milwaukee went 6-5 during the regular season in games Antetokounmpo missed.
“We talk about ball movement and people movement and playing free, playing organically,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said Wednesday. “Those things probably become even more important (if Antetokounmpo can’t play). We’ve got a lot of talent, so I think just let the guys play. Put them in a comfort level and put them in a comfortable spot and let them go play basketball, not over-complicated.
“We’ve played games without Giannis, without Khris (Middleton), without Jrue (Holiday), without whoever it may be, and so hopefully you have a structure and a system where you can function at a high level on both ends of the court no matter who is playing.”
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