Milwaukee Bucks coach provides optimistic update on Giannis Antetokounmpo’s injury suffered vs. Miami Heat'
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Milwaukee Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer provided a positive update on star Giannis Antetokounmpo after the team’s Game 1 loss to the Miami Heat on Sunday.

Antetokounmpo injured his lower back on a drive to the basket in the first half, and he eventually was ruled out for the game with the injury.

However, the X-ray on Antetokounmpo’s back came back “clear.”

Antetokounmpo’s absence was a big reason why Miami was able to win Game 1 of the series on the road. Prior to exiting with the injury, the two-time MVP scored six points on 2-of-4 shooting from the field while adding three rebounds.

It’s good news for the Bucks that Antetokounmpo isn’t dealing with a more serious injury, something that the Heat and their fans know all too well.

Guard Tyler Herro broke his hand in the first half of Sunday, and he is expected to miss significant time with the injury.

Depending upon how long the Heat remain in the playoffs, Herro may not return this season.

The Bucks played 19 games in the regular season without Antetokounmpo, going 11-8 in those matchups.

The team leaned heavily on Bobby Portis after Antetokounmpo exited on Sunday. The veteran Portis delivered with a strong game for Milwaukee, scoring 21 points on 9-of-15 shooting while adding eight rebounds.

While Portis is the primary option to fill in for Antetokounmpo, the Bucks could also use veteran forward Jae Crowder to replace him in smaller lineups.

The Heat and Bucks have two days off until they play Game 2 of their first-round series on Wednesday, April 19. That could give Antetokounmpo enough time to recover from his injury if he wakes up feeling better on Monday.

This isn’t the first time that Antetokounmpo has been injured in a playoff series against the Heat. Back in the 2019-20 season, he missed Game 5 of the team’s second-round matchup. He also played just 11:29 in Game 4 of that series due to an injury.

The Heat are in a good spot after stealing Game 1 on the road, but the team can’t let up, especially if Antetokounmpo returns for Game 2.

The Bucks will likely provide an update on the two-time MVP’s status as Game 2 approaches.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.