Giannis Antetokounmpo’s injury will keep him from playing against the Pelicans as The Greek Freak deals with right quad tendon soreness, per the Bucks. The MVP candidate has been fortunate to not miss much time during his NBA career, and it does not appear that his quad injury is significant.
It is a significant blow for ESPN as Antetokounmpo joins Zion Williamson on the sideline in a game where the two stars were initially expected to square off when the season started. Milwaukee has won 15 straight games but will have to continue their streak without their star big man. They may not be facing each other just yet, but Antetokounmpo praised the rookie big man.
“He’s a great player. He’s a beast,” Antetokounmpo told the Milwaukee-Journal Sentinel. “I just wish him to (have) a healthy recovery. He’s got to take care of his body and come back healthy. Obviously, I think he’s going to dominate the league for a lot of years to come. Obviously, I want to play against a guy like that, but the most important thing is for him to take care of his body and be healthy.”
Giannis Has a Chance to Win Back-to-Back MVP Awards
Antetokounmpo is the early favorite to win the NBA MVP award giving the All-Star a chance to win back-to-back trophies. The Bucks star’s numbers are up in many significant categories. Antetokounmpo is averaging 30.9 points when compared to 27.7 per game last season. He is averaging more rebounds at 13.2 up from his previous 12.5 boards per game.
Antetokounmpo is also shooting better from behind the arc as his 31.9 percent is more than six percent higher than last season’s 25.6 percentage. The All-Star is also shooting close to double the number of threes when compared to last season.
The Greek Freak Is Shooting 3’s Better This Season
Antetokounmpo feels the Bucks can still win a championship even if he is not shooting threes, but the NBA MVP emphasized that he wants to shoot better, something his recent numbers indicate he made a priority over the offseason.
“There’s a lot of people out there that said, ‘Oh, if Giannis don’t add the 3 he’s not gonna be one of the best players in the league,'” Antetokounmpo explained to CBS Sports. “I just won the MVP? No 3, right? I can still win the championship not shooting the 3, but I want to shoot the 3. I shot the 3 a little bit better this year, as the season went along I was getting better. Shooting the 3 is gonna make it a lot easier for my game and a lot easier for my teammates, so I gotta add that element to my game.”
The Bucks have not released a timeline for Antetokounmpo to return to the court. It would be a surprise if The Greek Freak is not playing against the Grizzlies on Friday.