Report: Giannis Hoping to Return from Knee Injury for Game 1 of NBA Finals vs. Suns

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJuly 6, 2021

Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo dribbles during the first half of Game 1 of the NBA Eastern Conference basketball finals game against the Atlanta Hawks Wednesday, June 23, 2021, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
AP Photo/Morry Gash

Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo is still hoping to be cleared in time for Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday night against the Phoenix Suns, according to Adrian Wojnarowski and Malika Andrews of ESPN.

The two-time MVP has received "around-the-clock treatment on his left knee" and is expected to be a game-time decision.

Antetokounmpo suffered a knee injury in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Atlanta Hawks, missing the next two games as the Bucks clinched the series.

Jared Greenberg of NBA TV reported Monday the forward has made "significant progress" since the June 29 injury:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Giannis is working out at a private gym to determine his status for Game 1 of the Finals, per <a href="https://twitter.com/JaredSGreenberg?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JaredSGreenberg</a><br><br>He has made “significant progress” with his hyperextended knee<br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/NBATV?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NBATV</a>)<a href="https://t.co/SGLS5BSgap">pic.twitter.com/SGLS5BSgap</a>

Milwaukee has enough depth to compete without Giannis if needed, with Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday having played especially well in the Eastern Conference Finals. The backcourt duo combined for 51 points in Game 5 and 59 in Game 6.

Brook Lopez and Bobby Portis also play increased roles when the team isn't at full strength.

After winning both MVP and Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2019-20, Antetokounmpo continued his dominant play this season with 28.1 points, 11.0 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 1.2 blocks per game.

Even if he can't play Tuesday, the game-time decision could provide hope for a return in Game 2 on Thursday.