Bucks Coach: We're a Heck of a Team With or Without Giannis
Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) is helped off the court after he and Atlanta Hawks' Clint Capela fell during the second half of Game 4 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals

Milwaukee Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer was visibly downbeat about Giannis Antetokounmpo’s knee hyperextension but hopeful of a positive result when they assess the injury on Wednesday.

Antetokounmpo went down after an ugly fall in the Bucks’ 110-88 loss to the Atlanta Hawks in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals on Tuesday.

The Greek forward did not return to the court, assisted to the locker room, although he was seen walking on his own in a slightly positive sign.

However, the nature of the fall where he left knee hyperextended back on itself suggests there are grave concerns for his availability moving forward in the playoffs.

“He’s in the locker room with the guys and just addressed the group,” Budenholzer told the post-game news conference. “Nothing above and beyond. We’ll see how he is tomorrow.”

Budenholzer refused to be drawn on the extent of the injury at this stage, needing further assessment.

The Bucks coach insisted his side could rebound in the series which is level at 2-2, even if they’re without Antetokounmpo.

“We’ll take everything as it comes,” he said. “We’ll evaluate it. We’ve got a heck of a team, heck of a roster.

“The guys will be ready to compete and play. We’ve got a Game 5. The guys love competing and playing.”

The Bucks were rallying in the third when Antetokounmpo went down, before the Hawks pulled clear with an emphatic 36-24 quarter.

Budenholzer said the shock and impact of Antetokounmpo may have played a part, with the game delayed for several minutes as he sought medical attention on court.

“Obviously Giannis is a big part of our soul and fiber,” he said. “I’m sure there’s the human element where the concern and care for him is real.

“But they’re in the heat of the battle, they’re playing, they’re competing, trying to get stops, trying to do things while he’s unable to be on the court. I’m sure that’s what they’ll do.”

Game 5 takes place in Milwaukee on Thursday.

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer @bensomerford
Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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