The Milwaukee Bucks showed enough firepower to close out the Eastern Conference Finals without their best player, Giannis Antetokounmpo. Facing the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Finals was another matter as they dropped the first game of the NBA Finals 118-105.
With the Bucks facing a quick turnaround before the NBA Finals on Tuesday night, one of the storylines was how about how well Giannis would recover from his hyperextended left knee in Game 1.
Giannis appears to have injured his leg.— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 30, 2021
Prayers up 🙏 pic.twitter.com/cHZXCIsBEd
Antetokounmpo was very impressive with his 20 point, 17 rebound performance highlighted by this block that was compared to the infamous LeBron James chase down block back in 2016.
Khris Middleton, who took over as the number one option in Antetokounmpo’s absence, led Milwaukee in scoring with 29 points and grabbed 7 rebounds. Brook Lopez had 17 points.
Giannis was upbeat despite the loss, telling the media that his focus is on the Finals and not his left knee via NBA.com.
“I’m trying my best to not make it about my knee,” Antetokounmpo says. “My knee felt good. Obviously when you go play a game, you never know what’s going to happen. … I’m just happy that I’m out there and I’m able to help my team in any way possible and participate in my first NBA Finals. I’m just trying to put my attention on that and not on if my knee hurts.”
Game 2 is Thursday in Phoenix. Afterwards, the series moves to Milwaukee for Games 3 and 4.