Damian Lillard, Giannis Antetokounmpo Out For Game 4

As expected, Bucks stars Damian Lillard (right Achilles) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (left calf) have been ruled out Sunday’s Game 4 in Indiana, tweets Eric Nehm of The Athletic. Both players had previously been listed as doubtful.

Lillard has been dealing with pain in his Achilles tendon for a few weeks. Although he said he was feeling much better entering the playoffs, he aggravated the injury in Friday’s Game 3, which Milwaukee lost in overtime.

Antetokounmpo has been sidelined since April 9 due to a left soleus strain, which is one of the muscles in the calf. The two-time MVP had another incredible regular season in 2023/24, averaging 30.4 PPG, 11.5 RPG, 6.5 APG, 1.2 SPG and 1.1 BPG while shooting a career-high 61.1% from the field in 73 games (35.2 MPG), but has been injured in the playoffs for the second straight year.

As Nehm writes in a full story for The Athletic, the Bucks are approaching tonight’s Game 4 with a “next-man-up mentality.”

I think for us, it’s our competitive nature,” wing Pat Connaughton said. “We believe we have a locker room of great players and we have guys that can have a ‘next-man-up mentality’ and can play. We have guys who have been situations and obviously delivered in the past, especially in the postseason. So making sure we lean on them.

Just making sure that we don’t let those things mentally let us off the hook. It’s the playoffs. Everyone’s dealing with something, on our side, on their side, how do we fight through it? How do we find ways to win one game, win a battle? Overall, the series will be the war, but try to win a battle on Sunday and make sure we do it together and make sure we pick each other up with whatever it might be.”

Milwaukee currently trails the first-round series with Indiana 1-2.

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