Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo to start in Game 1 of NBA Finals vs. Suns

Jul 6, 2021, 5:35 PM | Updated: 5:45 pm
Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo looks up to the scoreboard from the bench during the second ...

Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo looks up to the scoreboard from the bench during the second half of Game 5 of the team's NBA basketball playoffs Eastern Conference finals against the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday, July 1, 2021, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)

(AP Photo/Aaron Gash)

Forward Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks will start in Tuesday’s Game 1 of the NBA Finals, the team announced.

Antetokounmpo, who hyperextended his knee in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals, was upgraded from doubtful to questionable on Tuesday morning, hours before the series opener against the Phoenix Suns.

He was seen warming up ahead of Game 1, which is set to tip-off at 6 p.m. Arizona time.

“I think the word we’ve used is he’s making progress He did some work on court,” Milwaukee head coach Mike Budenholzer said during his pregame availability Tuesday.

“We’ll take a second and listen to him in the back, listen to the medical, listen to the Sports Performance Group and update if there’s any changes or when it’s appropriate.”

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Malika Andrews later reported that Antetokounmpo was a true game-time decision.

He was listed as doubtful on the Bucks’ injury report that was released Monday night.

On Monday, Milwaukee head coach Mike Budenholzer said Antetokounmpo had made progress in his rehab and had done some work on a basketball court.

“I’m just going to leave it — he did court work. So he’s making progress and we’re pleased that he’s making progress,” Budenholzer said.

Antetokounmpo missed the last two games of the Eastern Conference Finals as the Bucks closed out the Atlanta Hawks in six games.

Over the 15 games the two-time MVP has played this postseason, he’s averaging 28.2 points, 12.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists in 37 minutes.

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