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Will the Bucks Risk Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Health for Mere Franchise Glory? Draymond Green Speculates

Published 04/16/2024, 9:11 AM EDT

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The Milwaukee Bucks concluded their regular season run by establishing themselves as one of the best teams of the 2023-24 tournament. Despite losing seven of their last ten games, they still had a 49-33 win record to their name, allowing them to clinch the 3rd seed on the points chart. Much of this success could be credited to the efforts put down by power forward Giannis Antetokounmpo. However, with the player’s health being a major concern at the moment, a question has been raised on how much the Bucks would be looking to utilize the player during the highly awaited playoffs.

The same question was recently broached by Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green. During the recent episode of his highly watched show, the player brought up Giannis’s injury and stated how he wanted to use it to figure out the priorities of the Milwaukee Bucks at the moment.

“If you’re the Milwaukee Bucks front office, ownership group, coaching staff, how much are you fighting Giannis and saying ‘We need to be 150% sure that you’re ready to go’,” Green asked his viewers.

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The Greek Freak developed a calf strain in his left leg during his team’s win against the Boston Celtics last Tuesday. While he barely escaped a severe Achilles tendon, the player was still ruled out of his team’s three final remaining games of the regular season. Continuing to highlight his opinion, the Warriors power forward proceeded to draw a comparison between the Greek Freak’s recent injury and the one developed by his former teammate Kevin Durant back in 2019.

The latter, who was suffering from the same problem, returned after a month’s break but unfortunately worsened the situation by blowing up his Achilles. Therefore, Green wants to know whether the Bucks would learn from Durant’s mistakes or reportedly place their championship hopes ahead of everything else.

“They’ve struggled bad all year. They’ve won games because when you’ve got Damian Lillard, when you’ve got Chris Middleton, when you’ve got Giannis Antetokounmpo, you’re gonna win some games,” said Green. “Are you forcing Giannis back to try to revive that and go how far…. or are you making sure he 150% ready to play?”

Shaquille O’Neal take on Giannis Antetokounmpo’s return

During the 73 games Giannis Antetokounmpo played this season, he has accumulated an average score of 30.4 points, 11.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists. He is miles ahead of the Bucks’ second-highest scorer, Damian Lillard, who averages 24.3. Knowing his value, the Bucks wouldn’t mind taking a risk during one of the most crucial stages of the season. However, that push may be all the player needs to fall into a worse situation.

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Giannis’s injury was discussed during a recent segment of ‘NBA on TNT’. Similarly to Draymond Green, NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal referenced Kevin Durant’s 2019 injury and what would happen if a player chose to push himself too hard too early. Especially a player like the Greek Freak.

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“My concern for him is the way he plays, he goes so hard,” said Giannis. “My fear again is when he come back, he gonna be trying to go 110,000% and, you know, something may happen”.

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The Bucks are 4-5 this season with their star forward. It thus, requires a cautious move from the franchise as they aim for their third championship title. What would be your answer to Draymond Green’s question? Would you have continued playing Giannis or convinced him to be benched?

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Written by:

Ashmit Kumar

824Articles

One take at a time

Ashmit is an NBA Content Analyst at EssentiallySports. Having started as a writer, he specializes in writing captivating stories that include the elements of in-depth coverage of teams, players and more. Due to his knowledge of the technicalities of the sport, Ashmit writes perspective pieces that provide well-researched analysis.
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Edited by:

Shivatmika Manvi