The Milwaukee Bucks are fresh off a victory against the LeBron James-less Los Angeles Lakers, getting the job done without star Giannis Antetokounmpo. But while the Greek Freak missed the game due to an ankle injury, his status for the second leg of the team’s back-to-back remains up in the air as well.
Fortunately, the Bucks rolled to a 115-101 win over the Lakers to move to 53-18 on the season. This came behind the strong performances of Khris Middleton (30 points, 10 rebounds, five assists), Brook Lopez (28 points, nine rebounds, four blocks) and Nikola Mirotic (23 points, six rebounds). Beyond that, Eric Bledsoe chipped in 14 points with a well-rounded stat line which featured eight rebounds, seven assists and four steals.
With Giannis nursing an injury ahead of Wednesday’s game, the Bucks received some additional bad news on that front beyond just their star. We’re going to take a look at the team’s roster and starting lineup along with the latest on Antetokounmpo’s status.
Giannis Antetokounmpo Status & Bucks Injury Report
The Bucks official injury report is loaded with names, which could leave the them incredibly shorthanded against the Cavaliers. According to the league’s official website, there are currently eight players listed.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo (ankle); Questionable
- Malcolm Brogdon (right foot plantar fascia): Out
- Sterling Brown (right wrist): Out
- Donte DiVincenzo (bilateral heel bursitis): Out
- Pau Gasol (ankle): Out
- George Hill (groin): Out
- Ersan Ilyasova (illness): Probable
- Nikola Mirotic (left thumb): Out
ESPN’s Malika Andrews reports that Mirotic and Brogdon did not make the trip with the Bucks due to injury. To make matters worse, it seems Mirotic’s injury could leave him sidelined for up to a month. The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that he suffered a slight fracture of his thumb and has a two-to-four week timeline.
While Giannis is questionable for the game, the decision for him to sit against the Lakers apparently had to do with his ankle injury. Rich Rovito of the Associated Press reported that Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer stated Antetokounmpo got treatment on Monday but wasn’t in a place where he was “good to play.”
“Yesterday was an off day but a lot of guys still come in on off days to get treatment,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “He got some treatment. Coming in today, he’s in a place where he’s not good to play. He can’t play.”
Whether or not Antetokounmpo has improved to the point that he’s ready to suit up just one day later remains a big question mark. But regardless, the Bucks are looking at a very short rotation on Wednesday night.
Milwaukee Bucks Roster & Starting Lineup vs. Cavaliers
*Notates projected starter
C: Brook Lopez*, D.J. Wilson
PF: Ersan Ilyasova* (P), Bonzie Colson
SF: Giannis Antetokounmpo* (Q), Pat Connaughton
SG: Khris Middleton*, Tony Snell
PG: Eric Bledsoe*, Tim Frazier, Trevon Duval
Regardless of how the status of Antetokounmpo plays out, it’s likely going to mean big minutes for the starters along with Pat Connaughton and D.J. Wilson. Connaughton logged 36 minutes and had a strong showing with 13 points, eight rebounds and four assists against the Lakers. As for Wilson, he played 31 minutes but had a quiet night with three points, five rebounds and one assist.
Ersan Ilyasova could have a huge role as well, potentially seeing 26 or more minutes depending on how the rotation shakes out. If Giannis sits once again, it would be easy to envision his playing time jumping over 30 minutes.