Giannis (ankle) still not ruled out for Game 5

NBA

There’s currently no update on the status of reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo for Game 5 after he reinjured his sprained right ankle in the first half of Game 4, but he certainly will try to suit up — if possible.

The Milwaukee Bucks now trail 3-1 to the Miami Heat in their Eastern Conference semifinals series after rallying for an overtime win Sunday without Antetokounmpo.

“Giannis is, like we’ve said, he’s just getting treatment around the clock, doing everything he can to make himself available,” said Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer following Monday’s practice. “On the court, we walked through a couple defensive things, a couple offensive things, just kinda stationary in the half court; he was able to participate in that. But — I think it wasn’t much, so I wouldn’t read too much into that.”

After Antetokounmpo twisted his ankle at the 10:18 mark of the second quarter while driving to the paint, his Bucks teammate George Hill witnessed his will to win firsthand.

“The crazy part — like yesterday when he twisted his ankle again for the second time, and he’s laying on the floor — the competitive nature kicks in,” Hill said. “And we go over there and the first thing he said was, ‘I should’ve dunked it.’ That just shows you he’s trying to lay it all out on the line for us, and we’ve gotta do the same for him.”

Before any decisions are made, the Bucks sports performance group will closely evaluate Antetokounmpo. Besides focusing on his availability for the series, Milwaukee is also assessing the situation for the long-term so that it won’t become anything more serious.

After leaving Game 4, Antetokounmpo was encouraging the Bucks to tape up his right ankle and let him return — but he couldn’t plant or jump off the sprain, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. He hasn’t been ruled out for Game 5 and has never missed a playoff game in his career.

“I mean, I know how hard he’s gonna work. I know how hard our sports performance group’s gonna work. It’s just impossible to say, but I guess, yeah, there’s hope,” Budenholzer said. “We’re not ruling him out; so I guess until he’s ruled out, you have hope. Again, he’s gonna do everything he can to make himself available, and we’ll just see how the next 30 hours go.”

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