Giannis Antetokounmpo Rests, Khris Middleton Injured, Bucks Still Secure 1-Seed
Giannis Antetokounmpo was listed as probable with right knee soreness for the game, but was ultimately ruled out. Despite his absence, the Bucks still managed to come away with a win, as Jrue Holiday scored 20 points, 8 rebounds and 15 assists, while Wesley Matthews and Holiday locked down DeMar DeRozan, limiting him to 3-of-12 shooting and 8 points. Brook Lopez added 26 points as the team improved to 11-6 without Antetokounmpo. Lopez said after the game that the team's resilience this season will give them a big advantage heading into the postseason playoffs.
The Bucks began their second night of back-to-back games without the presence of guards Pat Connaughton and Grayson Allen. In addition, Khris Middleton limped off in the first quarter after attempting a jumper and was later ruled out of the game with right knee soreness.
Despite the setbacks, the Bucks were still able to put up a fight, although they ultimately fell short.
Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer has said the team's injury concerns, namely with Khris Middleton's right knee soreness that has plagued him all season and Pat Connaughton's recently sprained right ankle, are nothing major. There is, however, less hope for Tony Allen, who Budenholzer believes will be out for the rest of the regular season due to a severe ankle sprain.
Middleton's injury is an aggravation of the existing soreness, and it is uncertain whether he will be able to play in either of the remaining two games. Meanwhile, the Bucks are optimistic that Connaughton's injury is only a short-term one.
As for Allen, Budenholzer said there is still hope he may be able to return for the postseason. That gives us seven to 10 days to see how he's doing, Budenholzer said. There's a lot that can happen in that time frame, so we'll hope for the positive.