Bucks' Donte DiVincenzo Will Miss Rest of Playoffs with Ankle Injury

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVMay 28, 2021

Milwaukee Bucks' Donte DiVincenzo runs during the second half of Game 1 of their NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Miami Heat Saturday, May 22, 2021, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
AP Photo/Morry Gash

Milwaukee Bucks guard Donte DiVincenzo will miss the remainder of the playoffs after being diagnosed with a torn ligament in his left ankle.

DiVincenzo suffered the injury during the second quarter of Milwaukee's Game 3 113-84 win over the Miami Heat on Thursday in their first-round playoff series. DiVincenzo came up hurt after getting fouled by Heat guard Goran Dragic and did not return to the game.

While DiVincenzo's contributions are overshadowed at times by the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday and Brook Lopez, he is undoubtedly a key player for the Bucks.

The 24-year-old put up career-best numbers during the 2020-21 regular season, averaging 10.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.0 three-pointers made per game. He also flexed his defensive muscle with 1.1 steals per contest and improved as a three-point shooter, hitting 37.9 percent of his attempts from long range compared to 33.6 percent the previous year.

DiVincenzo primarily came off the bench during his first two seasons, but he started all 66 games he appeared in this season and averaged a career-high 27.5 minutes per game.

The Bucks are in prime position to advance to the second round of the playoffs with a 3-0 series lead on Miami, but playing without DiVincenzo in the second round could be a major blow to their chances.

Since each of the top three seeds in the East have commanding leads in their respective series, it is likely the top-seeded Philadelphia 76ers will face the winner of the New York Knicks vs. Atlanta Hawks series, while the No. 2 Brooklyn Nets and No. 3 Bucks will clash.

Milwaukee is capable of winning the series with or without DiVincenzo, but the depth he provided would have been helpful against a Nets team that boasts a "Big Three" of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving.

After DiVincenzo exited Thursday's game, the shooting guard minutes were split between Bryn Forbes and Pat Connaughton.

Forbes finished with 11 points in 20 minutes, and Connaughton had nine points in 18 minutes. They made three three-pointers each as well.

While neither Forbes nor Connaughton bring everything to the table that DiVincenzo does, their skill set is fairly complete as a pair, and they figure to get plenty of run for the remainder of Milwaukee's time in the playoffs.