Central Notes: Giannis, Holiday, McDermott, Stanley, Cavs

Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo, who was already dealing with a minor right ankle sprain entering Thursday’s game against Houston, aggravated that injury early in the first quarter, stepping on Kelly Olynyk‘s foot and rolling the ankle (link via ESPN). He didn’t return to the game.

Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer said after the game that there’s hope Giannis’ sprain isn’t too serious, adding that the team will see how it responds to treatment and go from there. Milwaukee has played it relatively safe with the two-time MVP this season as the club focuses on getting fully healthy for the postseason, so it wouldn’t be surprising if Antetokounmpo misses a little time — even if it’s out of abundance of caution.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • Within his weekly “10 Things” article for ESPN.com (Insider link), Zach Lowe highlights the play of Bucks guard Jrue Holiday, who recently signed a long-term extension, and Pacers forward Doug McDermott, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. Holiday is having arguably the best season of his career, while McDermott has developed into a strong finisher at the rim and deserves Sixth Man of the Year consideration, Lowe writes.
  • Pacers rookie guard Cassius Stanley is on a two-way contract that expires at season’s end, prompting J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star (subscription required) to wonder if the team should be giving him more playing time to determine whether he’s worth a longer-term investment. Stanley has logged just 54 total minutes in 19 games this season.
  • The Cavaliers have some promising young talent on their roster, but still lack a potential franchise player who can be the centerpiece of the rebuild, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com, who points out that the Cavs’ recent skid should put them in a better position to draft one of those players this summer.
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