The NBA’s nightmare run of injuries continues to get worse. There have already been many injuries to some of the league’s best players and they aren’t stopping now. The Milwaukee Bucks were one of the few teams that were largely able to avoid injuries this postseason but that changed on Tuesday.
In the third quarter of Game 4 against the Atlanta Hawks, two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo hyperextended his knee and fell to the ground, screaming in pain. He had to be helped into the locker room. The Los Angeles Lakers were amongst the teams that were ravaged by injuries, which led to an early playoff exit. LeBron James has already come out and ripped the NBA for their decision to move forward with a shortened offseason. He believes that the lack of a full offseason has led to many of the notable injuries.
LeBron was clearly upset when Giannis suffered his injury and took to Twitter to send the superstar his prayers.
The Hawks were already without Trae Young for Game 4. If Giannis is forced to miss time, both teams in the Eastern Conference Finals could be playing without a superstar on the court.
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Giannis Forced out of Game 4
The Bucks now have to play the waiting game to see the extent of Giannis’ injury. The team announced during the game that he was not going to be able to finish it. For a brief moment, it looked like he might try to get back on the court as returned to the team’s bench. However, that was short-lived as he went straight back to the locker room.
When the adrenaline is high, it’s easy to not fully realize the extent of an injury. Just because Giannis was walking around on his own power doesn’t mean he’s in the clear. The official designation is that he has a hyperextended knee. The team won’t know for sure how bad the injury is until he gets an MRI. The Bucks were looking to take control of the series in Game 4 with Young missing the game. If Giannis is forced to miss any time, the Hawks could be on their way to the NBA Finals.
This Is a Nightmare for the NBA
The NBA was already taking heat for the recent rash of injuries. LeBron has the strongest voice in the league so when he speaks, millions listen. If Giannis is done for the season, that’s going to be very bad for the NBA. First of all, a Finals matchup featuring a banged-up Hawks team or a Giannis-less Bucks team isn’t going to lead to the most exciting basketball.
There’s also the fact that the Clippers could get to the Finals without Kawhi Leonard. That could lead to the least exciting NBA Finals in recent memory. As Marc Stein pointed out, nine All-Stars have missed a playoff game this year. That’s not great news for the league.
The NBA will have to be holding its breath that Giannis is OK or it’s going to be a very bad look.