The Milwaukee Bucks are just 12 minutes from advancing to their first NBA Finals since 1974. Even with superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo out for his second straight game, the Bucks have looked dominant, and lead the Atlanta Hawks 91-72 after three quarters.
If the Bucks finish out this game in Atlanta, they’ll be pretty big underdogs to the Phoenix Suns with Giannis out. The Suns have avoided the bad injury luck that has struck so many other teams this postseason, and the trio of Chris Paul, Devin Booker, and Deandre Ayton have thrived in the playoffs.
If Giannis returns from his hyperextended left knee, however, it’s a whole new story. The two-time MVP is one of the most dominant physical presences in the league, and would take attention off of guys like Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez, who’ve found another gear in his absence.
Ahead of Game 6, Mike Budenholzer gave some promising news about his superstar. While Giannis was unable to go tonight, he did get in some on-court work for the first time since his injury.
Giannis Antetokounmpo was able do some work on the court today, Mike Budenholzer says. It is the first time he has done so since injuring his knee.
— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) July 3, 2021
Giannis Antetokounmpo left Game 4 against the Hawks after 24 minutes. He was 7-for-10 for 14 points, with eight rebounds in the game. He averaged 30.7 points through the first three games of the series, and is at 28.2 points and 12.7 rebounds per game in the playoffs.
Entering today’s game, the Phoenix Suns were -175 favorites to win the NBA Finals, meaning it would take a $175 bet on the team to win $100. If Giannis returns and looks fairly healthy, those would even up quite a bit.
If the Atlanta Hawks have a huge comeback tonight, Game 7 is set for Monday night at 8:30 p.m. ET.