Giannis Antetokounmpo out for Bucks vs. Bulls Because of Ankle Injury

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 30, 2021

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) gestures during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Monday, March 15, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

Milwaukee Bucks superstar forward Giannis Antetokounmpo will miss his team's road game against the Chicago Bulls on Friday at the United Center with a right ankle sprain, per the NBA's official injury report.

Antetokounmpo suffered the injury in the first minute of the Bucks' 143-136 road loss to the Houston Rockets on Thursday. NBA.com provided more information:

"He appeared to step on the foot of Kelly Olynyk, rolling what was already an injured ankle. He limped to the locker room and spent a few minutes there before returning to the bench, where he sat for the rest of the game.

"Antetokounmpo entered the game listed as probable with a right ankle sprain."

Antetokounmpo, the two-time defending NBA Most Valuable Player, has put together another standout season for the Bucks. He's averaged 28.0 points, 11.2 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.2 blocks across 53 appearances during the 2020-21 campaign.

The 26-year-old five-time All-Star has mostly dealt with minor ailments throughout his eight-year NBA career, and that trend has continued this season.

Bobby Portis figures to receive the biggest uptick in playing time when the Greek Freak is unavailable. It should also create more chances for P.J. Tucker as part of the frontcourt rotation. Tucker notably replaced Antetokounmpo in the lineup on Thursday post-injury, and he started for him in the second half too.

The arrival of Jrue Holiday this season has at least taken some pressure off Antetokounmpo's shoulders, but his health is still the most important factor in the Bucks' playoff push. Milwaukee has a golden opportunity to make a deep run if he's at full strength.