Jae Crowder had a funny answer to a question about Giannis Antetokounmpo on Thursday.
Crowder’s Phoenix Suns beat Antetokounmpo’s Milwaukee Bucks 118-108 in Game 2 of the NBA Finals. They got the win despite Giannis scoring 42 points with 12 rebounds.
Crowder was asked a somewhat odd question after the game. He was asked what more the Bucks can do if they lose even when Giannis scores so many points. He said he wasn’t looking to give them advice because he’s trying to beat them.
Well, duh. He wasn’t the best person to ask that question to.
As for the Bucks, it doesn’t help that Antetokounmpo only went 11-for-18 on free throws. Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday shooting a combined 12-for-37 (32.4 percent) didn’t help either. Maybe getting more from them and better free throw shooting is all they need.
Heading to Milwaukee for Games 3 and 4 should make a big difference.
Are we really sure that Giannis Antetokounmpo has a knee injury? Because it sure was hard to tell based on some of the plays he made in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday night.
Antetokounmpo was listed as doubtful for Game 1 due to his knee, and then he was termed a game-time decision. He was ultimately cleared to play in the game. Antetokounmpo was impressively able to play just a week after hyperextending his knee in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Hawks. Antetokounmpo missed Games 5 and 6 of that series but ended up playing in Game 1, and he looked pretty good.
Take a look at this incredible chasedown block he had before halftime:
What a play!
To be clear, my headline and intro sentence are sarcastic. I am not in the least bit questioning the severity of the injury; I’m trying to heighten the sense of how athletic Giannis looks, which is an incredible tribute to his medical recovery and the Milwaukee Bucks’ medical team.
All eyes are on Giannis Antetokounmpo ahead of Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday night, and it sounds like the Milwaukee Bucks star has a decent chance to return from his injury.
The Bucks announced on Monday that Antetokounmpo was doubtful for Game 1 due to the knee injury he suffered in the Eastern Conference Finals. On Tuesday, he was upgraded to questionable.
That is obviously a positive sign for the Bucks. A report last week claimed Giannis was trending toward playing in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals if the series got that far, but the Bucks eliminated the Atlanta Hawks in six games. That gave Giannis several extra days to recover.
Antetokounmpo suffered a hyperextended knee against the Hawks, and the diagnosis came as somewhat of a relief given how the injury looked. It goes without saying that the Bucks want Giannis available for the entire NBA Finals, despite what Charles Barkley may think.
Charles Barkley offered a surprising comment about Giannis Antetokounmpo on Saturday night.
Barkley was providing analysis after the Milwaukee Bucks won Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals. The panel of TNT analysts were to give their NBA Finals pick.
Barkley went with the Bucks depending on Antetokounmpo’s health. He offered a surprising comment about Giannis’ injury at that time.
“I hate to say this. I think the best thing that happened to the Milwaukee Bucks was Giannis getting hurt,” Barkley said.
Barkley then explained his reasoning. Antetokounmpo getting hurt made other players on the team step up, he said.
“Because they have unleashed Jrue Holiday — the aggressive Jrue Holiday. I think he is going to be fantastic in the Finals against Chris Paul. If Giannis is 85-90 percent, I’m going to go with Milwaukee.”
Barkley has been backing the Bucks all season and they finally have reached the NBA Finals. Maybe not having Giannis forced other players to step up against Atlanta. But they will need Antetokounmpo healthy in order to beat the Suns.
The Milwaukee Bucks are hopeful they can finish off the Atlanta Hawks in six games, but if not, they might get a boost for Game 7.
According to Chris Hayes of Yahoo Sports, there is a belief that injured forward Giannis Antetokounmpo could be cleared for Game 7 if the Eastern Conference Finals go that long. Game 6 appears less likely.
Antetokounmpo is listed as doubtful for Saturday’s Game 6. He has not played since suffering a hyperextended knee in Game 4. Amid fears that the injury could be a serious one, the Bucks got some good news about his status going forward even before this latest report.
The other good news is this would seem to indicate that Antetokounmpo would have a chance of playing early on if the Bucks make the NBA Finals. They have to get past Atlanta first, and the Hawks could have some help coming their way for a do-or-die Game 6.
The Milwaukee Bucks got at least some good news on the status of Giannis Antetokounmpo after his knee injury in Game 4.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Antetokounmpo did not suffer any structural damage in his left knee in his fall during Game 4, and his ligaments are intact. However, a timetable for his return remains unclear.
The two-time MVP hyperextended his knee in a fall during the third quarter of Tuesday’s loss, which you can see by clicking here. He did not return to the game, which Milwaukee lost.
The good news is that initial fears of a serious injury do not appear to have come to pass. However, with no timetable for his return, it remains unclear if we will see Antetokounmpo again in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Giannis Antetokounmpo suffered a knee injury during Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals on Tuesday night.
Midway through the third quarter of Game 4 between his Milwaukee Bucks and the Atlanta Hawks, Giannis went up to try and block a pass. Clint Capela, who made the alley-oop, landed and collided with Antetokounmpo, whose left leg went backwards.
Giannis’ left knee was hyperextended, sending the two-time NBA MVP to the ground.
Antetokounmpo was helped off the floor by his brother, Thanasis. Giannis was later seen walking on his own around the locker room. He was actually able to return to the Bucks’ bench a few minutes later. He eventually returned to the locker room and had a limp.
Milwaukee was trailing at the time of Antetokounmpo’s injury. The Hawks were looking to even the series despite playing Game 4 without their star, Trae Young.
The fans really seem to be in Giannis Antetokounmpo’s head.
Atlanta Hawks fans have been loudly counting each time Antetokounmpo steps to the free throw line at State Farm Arena. The chants are a response to the controversy about the Milwaukee Bucks star taking beyond the 10-second limit before each free throw.
In Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals, the Hawks fans did it and caused an airball. Then in Game 4, it got worse.
Antetokounmpo missed all three free throws he attempted in the first half. He airballed two of the attempts.
That was bad.
Antetokounmpo was a 68.5 percent shooter on free throws in the regular season. That number has dropped to 55.1 percent in the postseason. Once something becomes a “thing,” like Ben Simmons’ shooting or Giannis’ free throws, it’s hard for an athlete to shake it. This is going to remain a problem for Antetokounmmpo on the road the rest of the postseason.
Giannis Antetokounmpo surprisingly popped up on the injury report ahead of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals with what the Milwaukee Bucks are calling left calf tightness.
Antetokounmpo was listed as probable for Game 3, though he was seen limping toward the end of his minutes in Game 2. Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer downplayed any real concerns about the issue.
Antetokounmpo has looked fine during the first two games of the series. Even if the issue just recently popped up, it doesn’t seem like something that will seriously limit Milwaukee’s star forward. That said, if it’s meaningful enough to pop up on the injury report, it probably bears watching.
The biggest issue Giannis has to deal with at this point probably has something to do with his free throw shooting.
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s free throw shooting has become one of the biggest subplots of the NBA playoffs, and he seems to be enjoying the spectacle that it has created.
The Milwaukee Bucks star said this week that he likes hearing fans on the road counting to ten on his free throw attempts.
“There’s also an enjoy[ment] factor when you go on the road and everybody is booing you, everybody is counting, one, two, three, four,” Antetokounmpo said, per Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “You can enjoy that too.”
At this point, Antetokounmpo’s long-winded free throw routine seems to have everyone counting for a potential ten-second violation. Milwaukee’s current opponents, the Atlanta Hawks, are among many who believe the officials are looking the other way on Antetokounmpo’s free throws.
The former MVP is only shooting 56.2 percent from the line this postseason, so maybe the routine isn’t all that effective. Regardless, Antetokounmpo has been adamant that he will not be changing a darn thing at the charity stripe.