The Milwaukee Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo need to win three straight games against the Miami Heat in order to avoid one of the biggest embarrassments in NBA Playoff history. Giannis, of course, missed two complete games (and most of Game One) with a lower back contusion. He suffered the injury on a dangerous charge call that had many fans and analysts on social media calling for a rule change. With the Bucks facing the possibility of going down 3-1, Giannis and the team decided that he would play in Game Four, even though he was not 100%.
The decision took its on Giannis, who despite playing injured, recorded a triple double. However, he missed his media availability after the game for a concerning reason.
Milwaukee Bucks Star Giannis Antetokounmpo Needed IV Fluids After Game Four
Yesterday afternoon, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that Giannis missed his media availability after the game because he needed IV fluids:
Reporting at @TheRally on Bucks going down 3-1 to Heat and Giannis Antetokounmpo's return, which sources say included IV fluids postgame: pic.twitter.com/Ui82hjlh4B
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 25, 2023
“It’s really remarkable. 26 points, 13 assists, and 10 rebounds. It’s a remarkable performance that he put forth, especially considering he missed eight days with this injury that he suffered on April 16. He’s clearly still dealing with this lower back issue. He had to play over 38 minutes last night [in Game Four]. These are all reasons why, I’m told, postgame Giannis needed IV fluids in Miami.
“That was one of the reasons why he missed and was not able to do his media postgame last night in Miami after the loss. You have to give Giannis a lot of credit. He left it all out on the floor. Literally pushed himself to exhaustion last night in that loss to Miami. Playing through injury, playing through discomfort.
“But it’s playoff time. He’s a warrior. He’s going to try and play. That’s what you need to have your focus on if you’re the Bucks, if you’re in this series, is what adjustments is Mike Budenholzer, this coaching staff, going to make for a guy like Jimmy Butler? 56 points. The way he was able to dominate on the offensive end. What different schemes, defensive schemes, traps, switching defense? What can Mike Budenholzer do?
“Because now the onus is on and the pressure is really on Coach Budenholzer and this coaching staff. This roster is the same. It’s been consistent over the last couple years, ever since they won the 2021 NBA Championship. But what adjustments can this coaching staff make going into Game Five?”
As mentioned, the Bucks are on the brink of elimination and would become just the second top seed to lose an opening round playoff series to an eight seed. Despite Giannis’ injury, the rest of the team should be good enough to carry them to victory in this series. The problem is that they have not won. Whether it was fluke shooting nights from the Heat, an incredible all-time performance from Jimmy Butler, or whatever, the Bucks have failed to win.
Keep in mind: they won a game in this series without Giannis already. They can win and they should win. It is up to Coach Budenholzer and the rest of the players to protect Giannis because they need him in the long run. He should not have to sacrifice his back to win an opening round series.
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