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Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo Sidelined, Khris Middleton Set To Play


Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Milwaukee Bucks’ two-time MVP, will be sidelined for Friday night’s crucial Game 3 against the Indiana Pacers due to a left calf strain. However, there’s a silver lining as forward Khris Middleton is set to take the court after sustaining an ankle injury during Game 2 on Tuesday.

The Bucks navigated the first two games of the series without Antetokounmpo, and with the series tied at 1-1, his absence adds a new layer of challenge for the team.

Antetokounmpo has been sidelined since injuring his left calf during a victory over the Boston Celtics on April 9, causing him to miss the Bucks’ final three regular-season games.

In the injury report released Thursday afternoon, Antetokounmpo was listed as doubtful, contrasting with Middleton’s active status for Friday’s game.

Despite Middleton’s injury scare during Game 2, where he limped off in the first quarter, he displayed resilience by returning to action after getting his ankle retaped. Throughout the series, Middleton has been a consistent performer, averaging 19.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 5.0 assists in the first two games.

The Bucks have faced adversity due to injuries throughout the season, with their top trio of players, Antetokounmpo, Middleton, and Damian Lillard, rarely available together. This trend continued in the postseason, reflecting the team’s ability to adapt and perform despite setbacks.

Antetokounmpo’s injury history in the playoffs underscores the Bucks’ resilience in overcoming adversity. From missing crucial games due to injuries in previous playoff runs to returning triumphantly as the NBA Finals MVP, the team has shown resilience and determination.

Similarly, Middleton has faced his share of playoff setbacks, including missing playoff games in 2022 due to injury.

With Antetokounmpo’s absence and Middleton’s return, the Bucks face yet another test of their depth and resilience as they aim to secure victory in Game 3.

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