Bucks' Thanasis Antetokounmpo Out for Game 5 vs. Suns After Entering Health Protocols

Blake SchusterContributor IJuly 17, 2021

PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 16: Thanasis Antetokounmpo #43 of the Milwaukee Bucks handles the ball during practice and media availability as part of the 2021 NBA Finals on July 16, 2021 at Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)
David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

Milwaukee Bucks reserve Thanasis Antetokounmpo, the older brother of Giannis, has been ruled out for Saturday's Game 5 of the NBA Finals. He will enter the league's health and safety protocols.

Shams Charania @ShamsCharania

Bucks' Thanasis Antetokounmpo has entered health and safety protocols and is listed out for Game 5 of the NBA Finals vs. Suns.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Malika Andrews later reported that Bucks assistant coach Josh Oppenheimer wouldn't be at the game either:

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

Bucks assistant Josh Oppenheimer won’t be on bench for Game 5, sources tell <a href="https://twitter.com/malika_andrews?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@malika_andrews</a> and me. <a href="https://t.co/kiXQ75FjlX">https://t.co/kiXQ75FjlX</a>

Wojnarowski reported Saturday marks the third consecutive game where Oppenheimer has been unavailable. 

The championship series between the Bucks and Phoenix Suns is tied 2-2. The small forward has played just two minutes during the Finals, grabbing three rebounds in a 120-100 victory in Game 3 on Sunday.

Through 57 regular-season games, the elder Antetokounmpo averaged 2.9 points, 2.2 rebounds and 0.8 assists in 9.7 minutes per night. He's averaged just 0.7 points and 0.8 rebounds in 13 playoff appearances.

Michael Lee @MrMichaelLee

I'll be interested in seeing how Giannis Antetokounmpo responds with his big brother Thanasis sidelined because of health &amp; safety protocols. TA didn't play much but always gave GA that pregame hug/pep talk &amp; has provided calming words at critical moments, like Game 7 in Brooklyn

Earlier Saturday, Milwaukee head coach Mike Budenholzer told The Athletic's Sam Amick he's been concerned about the rising number of COVID-19 cases across the country.

"I mean, we are aware—we live in this world—whether it's all 50 states going up or things that are happening closer to us at home," Budenholzer said. "I think all the players, I think they're locked in, being safe, being healthy. Hoping for the best for everybody around us and our country. But, yeah, there's a real push to stay safe, to stay healthy, to be vigilant. Both teams, we're very, very close to the finish. We're excited about finishing this strong."

Hours later Thanasis entered the league's protocol.