The Oakland Athletics are on the verge of elimination, with a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the 9th inning. They have one out and two runs on base with Josh Phegley at bat.
The bucks vs hawks series was a matchup of two teams that were in the playoffs. The Bucks won game 1, but then lost the next 3 games and ended up losing the series.
Over the summer, Antetokounmpo, Giannis secured his spot in NBA history. In the NBA Finals, the Greek Freak averaged 35.2 points and 13.2 rebounds, culminating in a 50-point performance in Game 6. As the Milwaukee Bucks won their first title in 50 years, he was an obvious pick for Finals MVP.
However, Giannis’ performance is elevated by the fact that he played despite an injury. And, as it turns out, Antetokounmpo is still struggling with the ailment today.
In the NBA Finals, Giannis Antetokounmpo was injured.
Milwaukee’s championship aspirations seemed to be over for a while. Antetokounmpo hyperextended his left knee during Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals after colliding with Atlanta Hawks center Clint Capela. The two-time MVP was forced to miss the series’ last two games, putting his availability against the Phoenix Suns in jeopardy.
Giannis was judged ready to play within an hour of Game 1 of the NBA Finals, which was a bit of a miracle. Despite a hyperextended knee requiring two to four weeks of rehabilitation on average, his comeback to the court occurred precisely one week after the injury. In his first Finals game, he scored 20 points and grabbed 17 rebounds in little over 35 minutes.
In Game 2, the Greek Freak really began to take off. Antetokounmpo scored 42 points on 15-of-22 shooting despite the defeat. After that, he went on a three-game winning streak, scoring 41, 26, and 32 points before clinching the championship with a 50-point performance. His 50 points matched him for the most in a closeout Finals game with Hall of Famer Bob Pettit.
After Milwaukee’s championship win, Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer remarked, “[Giannis] is simply the ultimate competitor.” “He’s a one-of-a-kind individual. Giannis’ competitive attitude is something that always sticks out to me.”
Giannis admits that he is still in agony.
The Larry O’Brien Trophy and the Bill Russell Finals MVP Trophy go to Giannis Antetokounmpo. | Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
Antetokounmpo is taking advantage of his first offseason since becoming a champion. However, the consequences of his injury, as well as the general wear and strain of last season, are still evident in his physique (h/t: COSMOTE TV).
“I shouldn’t have participated in the NBA Finals Game 1,” he says. I was in a lot of discomfort. I’m still in pain… Since Game 6, yesterday was the first time I had a difficult practice. I’m in a lot of pain, but I’ll be fine.”
Antetokounmpo revealed how much agony he was in back in early July, as well as how much suffering he is in today, in an interview with a Greek television station. He also acknowledged that some of his postseason problems were mental in nature, leading him to seek treatment.
“I got injured in Game 1,” says the player. I was meditating. “We were defeated,” Giannis remarked. “I scored 40 points in Game 2 and we lost. After scoring 40 points and losing, I was s******* my trousers. Following that, all we wanted to do was protect our house. But then my teammates responded, the team reacted, and Jrue [Holiday] went crazy. The key was figuring out how to deal with my worry and dread. Every day, I spoke with a sports psychiatrist who encouraged me to be myself. The free throws were a mental problem for me, and I want to keep it up next season. And I’d want to see if we can do it again as a group. I want to see whether my teammates, the owners, and everyone else can accomplish it again.”
The Milwaukee Bucks may be forced to rest their top player due to the Greek Freak’s discomfort.
Antetokounmpo’s tenacity will never be questioned again. And his confidence that he’ll be OK just adds to his toughness as a player. However, the Bucks should be concerned about their star going ahead.
Giannis has missed 21 regular-season games in the last two seasons. Milwaukee has a mediocre 11-10 record in those games. Even with former All-Stars Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday on board, the Bucks can’t afford to lose Antetokounmpo for too long.
Is it possible that the Bucks may utilize load management for Giannis this season? We’ve seen the Los Angeles Lakers do it with LeBron James and Anthony Davis on occasion. The Brooklyn Nets, perhaps Milwaukee’s greatest Eastern rival, will almost likely handle the injuries that plagued players Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving last season. Milwaukee may lose out on a one-seed, but a healthy Giannis in the playoffs is all that counts.
Meanwhile, the Greek Freak should be able to continue to recuperate and feel healthy before the start of the Bucks’ season.
Basketball Reference provided all statistics.
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The nba finals game 1 recap is a blog post that discusses the Cleveland Cavaliers’ loss in the NBA Finals.
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