Hearts stop in Milwaukee as Giannis Antetokounmpo goes to ground with non-contact injury

Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo suffered a scary non-contact injury in Tuesday's game.
Apr 3, 2024; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Bucks head coach Doc Rivers and forward Giannis
Apr 3, 2024; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Bucks head coach Doc Rivers and forward Giannis / Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

It looked like things were finally trending in a positive direction for the Milwaukee Bucks. The team had lost four in a row entering play on Tuesday and had struggled for the most part under Doc Rivers, but showed signs of breaking out in their game against the Celtics.

The Bucks held a 20-point lead at halftime and were up in convincing fashion in the third quarter thanks in large part to Giannis Antetokounmpo who had 15 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists before disaster struck.

What looked like an innocent inbounds play turned out to be the scariest play of the season for the Bucks as Giannis grabbed his left leg and went down, unable to run up the court. Non-contact injuries, while they don't always look scary, can often result in the worst kinds of injuries.

Bucks fans hold their breath as Giannis Antetokounmpo suffers scary injury

UPDATE, 9:45 pm ET: Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Antetokoumpo is undergoing an MRI on his injured calf, news that broke after this article's publication.

While the injury looked potentially catastrophic, The Athletic's Shams Charania reported good news. Antetokounmpo would be out for the remainder of the game, but he has a calf strain. It sounds, at least at first, like nothing is torn, and the injury is not too serious.

Antetokoumpo has missed time the last month and change for Achilles' and hamstring issues, but the Achilles' has not been noted in the injury report since March 14. Calf ailments are generally correlated with possible Achilles' issues, which, if torn, would be among the worst possible outcomes and certainly keep the star out of the playoffs and beyond. The good sign is that Antetokounmpo was able to walk off the court on his own power, which is reason for momentary optimism.

The team has not provided an update, but likely will after the game on if there is further diagnosis or imaging planned.

There's a good chance that the Bucks decide to rest their superstar for the remainder of the regular season as they have just three games to play after Tuesday's tilt, but with the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference up for grabs, this injury could be very impactful when it comes to seeding.

The Bucks entered play on Tuesday just one game ahead of the Magic and Knicks for the No. 2 seed and just 2.5 games ahead of the Pacers for the sixth seed. If the Bucks lose out without Giannis, they might even fall to that No. 6 seed which would be unfortunate.

While any injury is bad news, the Bucks have avoided the worst. There's reason to believe he'll be fine for the beginning of the playoffs, which are what matters for this Bucks team anyway.

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