The Bucks entered the playoffs with a chance to win a championship and secure a long-term commitment from Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Now, they’re just trying not to lose in the second round.
And – down 3-1 – they’ll have to avoid elimination in Game 5 against the Heat tonight without Antetokounmpo, who injured his ankle in Game 4.
Shams Charania of The Athletic:
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 8, 2020
Milwaukee performed well without Antetokounmpo during the regular season, and that has mostly continued against Miami. The Bucks without Antetokounmpo in this series:
- Game 1: +3 in 11 minutes
- Game 2: +5 in 12 minutes
- Game 3: -2 in 13 minutes
- Game 4: +1 in 37 minutes
Rallying to win Game 4 after Antetokounmpo’s injury was particularly impressive.
But don’t overthink this. Antetokounmpo is the reigning MVP and likely back-to-back MVP. This is a HUGE loss. Though he wasn’t meeting expectations in this series, Antetokounmpo was definitely a positive contributor.
The Bucks can win this game and maybe extend the series long enough to get Antetokounmpo back (and make adjustments to get him flowing again). But each step will be difficult, starting with winning tonight without their best player.