Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo will remain out with calf injury, miss Game 3 vs. Pacers

Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo is out for Friday’s Game 3 against the Indiana Pacers as he continues to rehabilitate a left soleus strain, the team announced.

Antetokounmpo has already missed the first two games of the Bucks’ first-round series against the Pacers due to the left calf injury he suffered against the Boston Celtics on April 9.

Like Game 2, Antetokounmpo was initially listed as questionable before being ruled out on game day, but before undergoing a pregame warmup to test his injury.

“He did a lot on the floor today, probably the most I’ve seen,” Bucks coach Doc Rivers said after practice Thursday afternoon. “He was pulling and moving today.”

Although this is the most important physical activity that Rivers described in detail by Antetokounmpo in the rehabilitation process from this injury, the Bucks coach also told reporters that Antetokounmpo did not still been able to do live action on the ground.

The Bucks split the first two games of the series before traveling to Indianapolis on Thursday for Game 3 on Friday.

While Antetokounmpo’s status was clarified for Game 3, three-time All-Star Khris Middleton is still listed as questionable after suffering a sprained right ankle in the first quarter of Game 2. Middleton returned to the game and scored 15 points, five rebounds and six assists in 36 minutes Tuesday, but sat out practice Thursday.

How have the Bucks fared without Antetokounmpo?

Behind a ridiculous first half performance from Damian Lillard, the Bucks won Game 1 against the Pacers in Milwaukee. Lillard scored 35 points in the first two quarters and the moment seemed too big for a young Pacers team going through its first playoff series with Tyrese Haliburton at the controls. With Lillard knocking down a deep 3-pointer and the Pacers struggling to find an offensive rhythm, the Bucks took a 27-point lead into the half and cruised the rest of the way.

Game 2 was very different. Lillard was spectacular again in the first half, but the Pacers looked a lot like the team they were in the regular season. After their successful Game 1 performance, the Pacers began to pick up the pace again against the Bucks on passes and misses and went on a 23-4 run in the fourth quarter to close out the Bucks and split the series going home. them in Indianapolis for the game. 3.

Who should step up for the Bucks?

Lillard has played well for the Bucks so far in this series without Antetokounmpo on the court. He was dominant in the first half of the games, but slowed down in the second half as he was forced to deal with the Pacers’ defensive attention for all four quarters. Middleton played well in the first game with 23 points (9 of 14 from the field), 10 rebounds and four assists, but struggled in the second game, hitting only 6 of 14 from the field for 15 points, as he dealt with the lingering effects of his sprained right ankle in the first quarter.

For the Bucks to pull out a win in Game 3, they could use two things: a much better defensive performance as a team and a big game from Bobby Portis.

The Bucks were not disciplined on the defensive end in Game 3, as they let the Pacers get away far too often. When Antetokounmpo missed time throughout the regular season, Portis steadily stepped up his offensive performance. After shooting 50.8 percent from the field and 40.7 percent from 3 en route to 13.8 points and 7.8 rebounds per game in a regular-season effort nominated for Sixth Man of the Year, Portis averaged 14.5 points and 11 rebounds in the first two games. from the series, but shot just 41.9 percent from the field, including 0 of 4 from 3.

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(Photo: Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)

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