The Milwaukee Bucks suffered a blow in their first-round series against the Miami Heat as their star player, Giannis Antetokounmpo, was ruled out with a back injury for Game 2.
Antetokounmpo, who won this season’s NBA Most Valuable Player award, suffered a back contusion during the Bucks’ Game 1 loss against the Heat. He played just 11 minutes in the game before leaving with the injury.
The Bucks confirmed that the Greek Freak would miss Game 2, citing his injury as the reason. The team added that Antetokounmpo’s status for the rest of the series is unclear and will be determined based on his progress in treatment.
Antetokounmpo’s absence was clearly felt in Game 2 as the Bucks suffered another loss to the Heat, this time by a 116-114 scoreline. Without their star player, the Bucks were unable to keep up with the Heat’s offense and struggled to create opportunities for themselves.
There is hope that Antetokounmpo will be able to return to the fold soon, especially with the Bucks needing him if they hope to make a deep playoff run this season. However, the team will need to be cautious with their player’s health, especially given the condensed schedule of this year’s playoffs.
In the meantime, the Bucks will need to find a way to keep their playoff hopes alive without their star player. The team will need to rely on other players to step up and fill the void left by Antetokounmpo’s absence.
While losing a player of Antetokounmpo’s caliber is never easy, this could be an opportunity for the Bucks to show their depth and versatility. If other players are able to step up, the Bucks could still make a strong push in the playoffs, even without their MVP.