Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo ruled out for Game 1 vs. Pacers with calf strain

Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo has been ruled out for Game 1 of the Bucks’ first-round series against the Indiana Pacers, the team announced Sunday, as Antetokounmpo continues rehabbing his calf strain. He was previously listed as doubtful Saturday.

Antetokounmpo missed the final three games of the regular season while dealing with the injury he suffered against the Boston Celtics on April 9. He has had multiple past injuries, including Achilles tendinitis and a hamstring issue, on his left leg, the same leg in which he strained his calf.

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The eight-time All-Star played in 73 games this season, averaging 30.4 points, 11.5 rebounds and a career-high 6.5 assists per game.

The sixth-seeded Pacers beat the third-seeded Bucks four out of five times this season.

What this means for Milwaukee

All week long Milwaukee prepared for Antetokounmpo to be on the sidelines at the start of this series, but there is still no way of downplaying just how large of a blow this will be for the Bucks. Antetokounmpo is one of the best players in the NBA and his absence will be significant for Milwaukee moving forward.

With Antetokounmpo out, the Bucks will lean on Damian Lillard and Khris Middleton to run things on the offensive end in Game 1. This is something they have done six times before and something Lillard was asked to do throughout his time with the Portland Trail Blazers, so Milwaukee feels pretty confident in what it will still be able to do on the offensive end.

Antetokounmpo’s rehab progress

Despite his doubtful pre-game injury designiation, Bucks coach Doc Rivers did not make it seem like the decision to sit Antetokounmpo out for Game 1 was all that difficult for Milwaukee.

Rivers told reporters Antetokounmpo has been able to do some light shooting and get out on the floor for walk-throughs, but has not yet been able to do anything live. Rivers also told reporters he did not have a timeline for Antetokounmpo’s return.

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(Photo: Jed Jacobsohn / NBAE via Getty Images)

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