The Milwaukee Bucks are facing yet another elimination game without Giannis. How have they fared this year without their reigning MVP?
Giannis Antetokounmpo sprained his right ankle through two separate incidents in the second round series against the Heat. He first had an injury in Game 3, when he stepped onto Goran Dragic’s foot while driving. While he played out Game 3 without apparent effect, it bothered him in the break before Game 4.
After starting Game 4 off on a blistering note, Giannis re-injured his right ankle in the second quarter. He stepped onto Andre Iguodala’s foot inadvertently with his left foot, causing him to lose balance on his next step.
Despite being able to make the free throws that followed, the Greek Freak was clearly in no position to continue.
Bucks record without Giannis this season
The Milwaukee Bucks have a modest 5-5 record without Giannis in the regular season this year. However, this 5-5 record includes 2 inconsequential games in the NBA bubble which the Bucks threw away.
In fact, till February 12th this year, the Bucks were rolling without Giannis, having no losses on their record.
The Bucks obviously aren’t better in general without Giannis. But they were better today after he went out.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) September 6, 2020
While the Bucks’ defense fell off a cliff with Giannis out in Game 4, their offense received a shot of life. The Freak has often been criticised for his poor decision making when double teamed in the post.
He is said to rely way too heavily on straight line drives and spin moves and become predictable for opponent defenses. There’s a chance that the added spacing the Bucks get without him spurs them to greater heights.