Bucks rule out Giannis Antetokounmpo for Pacers game 1 – ESPN

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Bucks rule out Giannis Antetokounmpo for Pacers game 1 – ESPN


MILWAUKEE — Two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo will not play in Game 1 of the Bucks’ first-round playoff series against the Indiana Pacers on Sunday night, coach Doc Rivers said about two hours before the announcement.

Antetokounmpo hasn’t played since April 9, missing Milwaukee’s final three regular-season games with a calf strain.

The Bucks are hoping that treatment of Antetokounmpo’s injury will allow him to return sometime later in the series, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Rivers, meanwhile, said he still has no clarity on the injury timeline.

“We prepare with what’s on the field,” Rivers said before the first game. “Giannis did a lot of work. He’s shooting, he’s running again, he looks good, but he couldn’t compete.”

Injuries kept Antetokounmpo out of playoff games for the second straight season. He injured his back in the first game of the 2023 playoffs and sat out the next two games against the Miami Heat. He returned for Game 4, but the Bucks lost the series in five games.

Antetokounmpo averaged 42.2 points and 13 rebounds in Milwaukee’s five regular-season meetings with Indiana. He scored a franchise-record 64 points in the Bucks’ only victory against the Pacers.

The Bucks went 4-5 without Antetokounmpo during the regular season.

“We really prepared this week with what we had,” Rivers said.

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