Bucks’ coach Mike Budenholzer says he is ‘optimistic’ about star Giannis Antetokounmpo’s health for Game 2

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Milwaukee’s aspirations of winning this NBA Championship felt paralyzed just as Giannis Antetokounmpo fell down on his lower back this weekend during Game 1 of the Conference’s playoffs against Miami. Now that the tests came back clean, the Bucks are holding out hope that their star will be back for the second matchup.

It was coach Mike Budenholzer who delivered the good news to reporters on Monday, explaining that the foward’s MRI and X-rays show no trace of a long-term injury and that his staff remain ‘optimistic’ about Antetokounmpo returning for Game 2 vs. the Miami Heat this Wednesday (9pm ET).

“I would say he’s still sore, but I think progress and he’s getting some treatment and I think we’ll just continue to monitor him for the next 24 (hours), next day or two,” Budenholzer said. “And probably fortunate that two days between games. So, I think still mostly positive, mostly optimistic, but we’ll see how he feels in the next day or two.”

The Greek superstar had to leave for the locker room as he landed hard on his back after getting fouled in the first quarter. He eventually returned during the second stage of the game, but only lasted a minute until he asked to leave the floor definitely. The top-seeded team in the NBA finally lost their first encounter to the Heat 130 to 117.

This almost feels like a deja vu for Milwaukee fans, as last season they also suffered a key injury early in their playoff run, as three-time All-Star Khris Middleton missed his team’s final 10 postseason matches. In Game 2 of their first-round series against the Chicago Bulls, he sprained his medial colateral ligament in his left knee.

Antetokounmpo isn’t the only NBA star who got injured at the playoff’s start

Game 1 of the postseason took a lot of victims with it, as Giannis isn’t the only standout player whose in question of returning to court for the first-round’s second matchup. One of the most sensible absentees is Ja Morant, as the two-time All-Star also suffered a hard fall and is in doubt to play the Lakers this Wednesday.

Take a look at the Grizzlies’ star awkward fall as he tried to dunk over Lakers’ Anthony Davis:

Lucky for the Lakers, AD also scared his team by grabbing his right should and shouted that he couldn’t move his arm, but eventually felt better and continued in the third quarter against Memphis this weekend.

Another who really recieved poor news is Miami’s Tyler Herro, who broke his hand against the Bucks and now is potentially out for the rest of the campaign.

This also isn’t the first time Antetokounmpo suffers a blow in playoffs, as two years ago he hyperextended his left knee and missed the last two contests of the East Finals. He later recovered from the injury and went on to win the NBA title after scoring 50 points in Game 6’s victory over Phoenix and being named MVP of the NBA Finals.

Milwaukee fans are praying for their foward star to show his resilience once again and return this Wednesday against the Heat for Game 2.

Antonio is a life long sports enthusiast and professional journalist, who shares an obssesive urge to find and dig up the most interesting facts to guide gamblers towards more exciting, yet safe bets. In his own words, ''you can never really know enough about the things you love''.

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