Earlier on Tuesday, the Milwaukee Bucks elevated Giannis Antetokoumpo’s status from doubtful to questionable just hours before the tip of Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Now the team has made a final decision on whether or not he’ll go up against the Phoenix Suns later tonight.
According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Antetokounmpo will play in Tuesday’s Game 1 of the NBA Finals. The Bucks star was on the floor for pregame warmups and went through a workout routine before the decision was made, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Antetokounmpo missed the final two games of the Eastern Conference Finals after suffering a hyperextension in his knee in Game 4 against the Atlanta Hawks. The Bucks big man tried to defend a Clint Capela alley-oop but landed awkwardly and immediately went to the ground in obvious pain.
Giannis avoided any structural damage, which has left his status for the NBA Finals up in the air.
Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee) will play tonight in Game 1 of The Finals against the Phoenix Suns, league sources tell @YahooSports.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 7, 2021
After winning consecutive NBA MVP awards in 2019 and 2020, Antetokounmpo put together another strong season this year. His dominance has continued during the playoffs where he’s tallied 28.2 points, 12.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game on 55.2 percent shooting in 15 appearances.
In the series against Chris Paul and the Suns, Antetokounmpo has the potential to dominate, so long as he can stay healthy. After Deandre Ayton, Phoenix’s frontcourt is thin, which would give the Bucks big man a chance to dominate at the rim on offense.
Despite Antetokounmpo being activated for the game, Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton will both need to have a big series if the Bucks hope to knock off the Suns. The duo combined for 124 points over the last two games with the two-time MVP sidelined, so Milwaukee will hope to get more of the same over the next week.
Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Bucks and the Suns will tip-off at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.