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.
Giannis Antetokounmpo addressed the free throw controversy surrounding him following his Milwaukee Bucks’ 125-91 Game 2 win over the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference finals on Friday night.
Antetokounmpo often takes several seconds in his free throw routine before attempting his shots at the line. He has been called for a violation twice this postseason for taking longer than 10 seconds. But the officials have let him slide pretty much every other time. The NBA even acknowledged the situation, saying in their last 2-minute report from Game 1 that Antetokounmpo should have been called for the violation twice.
Plenty of attention has been called to the matter. The Hawks have been upset that the officials are ignoring the situation.
So did Antetokounmpo make any adjustments for Game 2 knowing his situation was in the spotlight? He says no.
The Bucks won by such a large margin in Game 2 that the free throw subject barely came up. Antetokounmpo only went to the line four times. His Bucks only attempted 16 free throws in the game.
Giannis said he didn’t pay any specific attention to going quicker Friday, but it’s hard to believe the matter isn’t in his head more now that people have talked about it so frequently. Fans have even taunted him about it.
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s free throw routine has come under the microscope during the postseason, with the Atlanta Hawks trying very hard to take advantage of it.
Hawks coach Nate McMillan was making his message clear before Friday’s Game 2, putting some external pressure on referees to be strict about calling ten-second violations against the Milwaukee Bucks star.
Ten-second violations at the free throw line typically aren’t enforced that strictly, but the frequency with which Antetokounmpo blows past the limit has led to some griping. It’s been called on him before, and the Hawks made clear that they want it called again.
It seems like some opponents are fed up with Giannis’ lengthy free throw routine, too. The Bucks star has refused to make any significant adjustments, but he would probably have to if the rule was enforced strictly like the Hawks want.
It took all of one game for the Atlanta Hawks to get fed up with Giannis Antetokounmpo’s free throw routine.
The Athletic’s Sam Amick reported on Friday that the Hawks are unhappy with the NBA for continuing to look the other way whenever the Milwaukee Bucks star shoots free throws. Amick adds that Antetokounmpo’s eight free throw attempts during Atlanta’s Game 1 victory Wednesday all clocked in between 11.5 and 13.3 seconds by the Hawks’ internal count. The two-time MVP was not whistled for a ten-second violation on a single one.
The last two-minute report for the game confirmed that Antetokounmpo should have been called for violations on both his free throw attempts with 5.3 seconds remaining in the contest. He hit both shots to bring Milwaukee to within one point. Fortunately for Atlanta, they held on to win by three.
Antetokounmpo’s lengthy routine has sparked controversy all postseason. He is only shooting 55.4 percent from the line overall. But Antetokounmpo definitely annoyed his previous opponent with the spectacle as well.
Having fans back at sports events is a whole other game. Brooklyn Nets fans proved that on Saturday night.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has been especially slow at the free throw line during the Milwaukee Bucks’ Eastern Conference semifinals series against the Nets. It’s so bad that even James Harden has been fed up with it.
During Game 7 of the series, Nets fans trolled Antetokounmpo by counting each time he was at the line. They may have even played a role in Giannis airballing an attempt late in the second quarter.
There are some big reasons why players can make most of their free throws in practice and then struggle during games. Not only is there enormous pressure, but you also have the fans to contend with. Nets fans seemed to be making a difference in this situation.