Milwaukee’s playoffs were on the line and Giannis Antetokounmpo wanted to be out there. He had started Game 4 red hot — 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting in the first quarter — and after re-spraining his ankle, he wanted it taped up so he could get back out there and help his teammates.
It just wasn’t happening — he couldn’t put weight on it, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
After leaving Game 4, Giannis Antetokounmpo was encouraging the Bucks to tape up his right ankle and let him return — but he couldn't plant or jump off the sprain, per sources. Around the Bucks, many didn't expect he could play today. No one dares rule him out yet for Game 5.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 6, 2020
Not being able to jump or plant, that’s a problem—one kind of needs to do those things to play basketball.
Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said “no consideration” given to bringing Giannis Antetokounmpo (right ankle sprain) back into Game 4 win over Heat & no update yet on Game 5 status.
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) September 6, 2020
Antetokounmpo will get another chance. Maybe. Khris Middleton led the Bucks to a Game 4 win keeping their season alive, but whether Antetokounmpo will be ready is anybody’s guess. He left the arena Sunday in a walking boot, but with ankles it’s the next day when trainers and the player get a real sense of how bad things are.
Antetokounmpo is going to be a game-time decision for Game 5. If he can play, he’s going to need every one of those minutes for treatment and rest to get his ankle ready. On the other hand, even if coach Mike Budenholzer and staff know that the Greek Freak can’t go, they will want to keep the Heat off balance and guessing and will not release his status until the last minute.
We’ll get our first sense when Antetokounmpo comes out for warmups on Tuesday night. Until then, it’s going to be a lot of speculation and vague updates from the team.