Will Giannis Play in the NBA Finals? MVP's Injury Report Update Says It's Questionable
What is the Milwaukee Bucks' record without MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo? The basketball star injured his knee during the Conference finals.
For '90s basketball fans, it's easy to feel spoiled with all of the nostalgia of seeing some of the biggest and best stars in the game, including watching His Airness himself, Michael Jordan, play live on TV in what was arguably a much more difficult game – especially when it came to dribbling and defense.
But even with all of that rose-tinted "my generation did it better" glory, I'm still loving the latest crop of NBA talent, like Giannis Antetokounmpo. But what exactly is the Bucks' record without the "Greek Freak"?
What's the Milwaukee Bucks' record without Giannis in 2020–2021?
The last time the Milwaukee Bucks won a championship was in 1971, the same year that Charles Manson was sentenced, Disney World opened in Florida, and a massive anti-Vietnam War protest took place in Washington, D.C.
The Bucks have had a really solid team in recent years, but the squad's breakout star is obviously Giannis.
He's not just a big name, however — he puts up big numbers and makes a tremendous difference on the court as well. Before competing in the final two games against the Hawks during the 2021 Eastern Conference finals, the Bucks' record without Giannis was just 6–5.
When the star athlete is on the floor, the Bucks' win percentage increases significantly to over 65 percent.
The 2020–2021 Eastern Conference semi-finals playoffs between the Atlanta Hawks and the Milwaukee Bucks were tied at two games apiece, but fans watched the teams face off without their two biggest stars. Trae Young of the Hawks bruised a bone in his right foot, and Giannis ended up hyperextending his left knee in Game 4.
Trae is a proficient scorer for the Hawks, but even without him on the floor, they were able to secure a blowout offensive output, with a whopping 110 points versus the Bucks' 88. Before hurting his knee, Giannis was already dealing with a tight left calf. He was able to score 14 points before ultimately succumbing to his injury.
Thankfully, reports are indicating that the damage isn't "structural."
The Hawks were able to utilize smart gameplay and a varied scoring approach that saw a combined 41 points from Lou Williams and Bogdan Bogdanovic, who put 21 and 20 up on the scoreboard, respectively. Clint Capela and Kevin Huerter also scored 15 points each, but it was Cam Reddish's 12-point show-out, which featured plenty of confident moments, that impressed fans.
Cam missed the first 42 games of the season, and while many thought that the Bucks would be on the fast track to the 2020-2021 NBA Finals, the Hawks gained some momentum to secure the first NBA championship for the franchise since 1958.
In the end, the Bucks walked away as the Conference champs, winning the final two games.
The big question on Bucks fans' minds is whether Giannis will play in the NBA Finals.
Even without their best player, the Bucks were able to clinch the Eastern Conference against the Hawks and will now face off against the Suns in the NBA Finals.
So, will Giannis be on the court?
According to reports, the MVP was upgraded from doubtful to questionable following the injury report released by the Bucks.
"I mean, [Giannis] and the sports performance team, they have been together a long time. It's special to watch their relationship. It's special to watch the communication, the trust that he has. You have to listen to the player and then you have to listen to the sports performance group, and at some point, Jon Horst and myself are part of the conversations, but it's just a day-to-day thing," coach Mike Budenholzer told reporters (via CBS Sports).
He continued, "We'll update it when appropriate. The conversations between [him] and myself and [him] and the sports performance group, it's kind of private and we'll see where he is each day."