The Bucks are optimistic that Giannis Antetokounmpo will be able to return from his back injury for Game 2, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. It’s a “pain-tolerance issue,” Charania states, noting that the team “played it safe” by removing him from Sunday’s contest. Charania adds that the injury might be an ongoing concern even if Antetokounmpo is able to play Wednesday, and he’s dealing with a wrist ligament issue as well.
Antetokounmpo landed on his tailbone after a drive to the basket early in the game, writes Jim Owczarski of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He returned to the court in the second quarter, but was moving awkwardly, prompting coach Mike Budenholzer to replace him to prevent any further damage. X-rays were negative, but the team isn’t sure what Antetokounmpo’s condition will be when the series resumes.
“We have to wait and see what the doctor says, most importantly, what Giannis says,” Budenholzer said Sunday. “Certainly we’ve been blessed with him being incredibly resilient and quick to heal, but you just got to take it day by day and see how he’s doing and see how he feels.”
There’s more from the Central Division:
- In another Journal Sentinel story, former Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry talks to Owczarski about his decision to sell his stake in the franchise to the Haslam Sports Group. Lasry helped Milwaukee become one of the league’s most successful teams during nine years as an owner. “It’s been a phenomenal experience,” he said. “I think the city of Milwaukee has been great. I’ve been surprised at sort of how welcoming and how nice the people of Milwaukee are. They welcomed us when we came here. I think we’ve been able to establish roots here. It’s been a pretty unique experience.”
- The Pacers prioritized the development of their young players this year, but they will approach the 2023/24 season with the goal of reaching the postseason, per Dustin Dopirak of The Indianapolis Star. “Next year, we want to be in the playoffs,” Tyrese Haliburton said. “We’re not going to short-change that at all. We know that’s what we want to do. That’s 100% the goal going into next year.”
- Australian swingman Luke Travers, who was selected by the Cavaliers with the 56th pick in last year’s draft, has signed a three-year deal with Melbourne United in the NBL, writes Olgun Uluc of ESPN. It’s not clear if the deal includes an opt-out clause, but Travers said he moved from Perth to Melbourne to improve his NBA prospects. “It’s the track record they have of developing guys to the NBA,” Travers explained.