Doc Rivers is hopeful that Giannis Antetokounmpo will recover for first game of Playoffs

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After Giannis Antetokounmpo went through his MRI this Wednesday, the Bucks confirmed that despite his left calf strain he avoided major injury and should only miss the remainder or regular season. According to sources, the forward’s left Achilles tendon is fully intact and would take two weeks at the most to recover fully. 

Prior to Wednesday’s 117-99 win against the Magic, the Milwaukee club announced that they will “receive daily treatment and evaluation” but preferred not to make any predictions if he’ll be back for the start of the Playoffs.

As their opening post-season match would be on April 21 or 22, coach Doc Rivers insisted that they don’t have a timeline for their superstar’s return. “Yeah, I’m hoping,” he said about having him back for the big leagues. “I don’t know. I’m just hoping.”

As Giannis is a well-known competitor, his coach revealed that he’s feeling frustrated despite having played 73 games so far this campaign. “You know Giannis, he’s not happy,” Rivers shared. “Giannis wants to play every night, every minute. He hates coming out of games.”

“You still got to play basketball,” Doc kept at it. “Guys have to play and you just hope that they can stay healthy. We haven’t had great luck in that regard; we know that. There are things that we have to be smart about as well.”

The Milwaukee roster has been hit plenty with injuries this campaign, as they’ve barely been able to enjoy their power trio of Giannis, Damian Lillard and Khris Middleton. Incredibly, Tuesday’s clash against the Celtics was only their fifth outing in the past 30 games in which they had all three stars available.

“We’re going to need him,” Middleton said of his injured teammate. “So if he’s got to get rest, if he’s got to sit out these [next] couple of games to be ready for the playoffs, we need him to be as close to 100% as he can be.”

Teammate Damian Lillard calls Giannis the “head of the snake” and says there is a real level of concern about his recovery

Milwaukee are 45-38 when Antetokounmpo has played this campaign, compared to 4-3 when he’s on the sidelines. This is why his teammate Damian Lillard revealed that everyone hopes he’s back in the NBA courts for the start of the Playoffs.

“We’re a deep team,” he said. “Obviously Giannis is the head of the snake. When he’s out there, we’re at our best. But we’ve got a lot of guys in our locker room. We’ve got vets, and I think tonight, we understood what the mission was. We knew that we were going to be a couple of guys down — Giannis and Khris. We knew how we had to play. We knew what kind of energy we needed to have. I thought we came out and played that way from the start.”

“Any time you see one of your teammates go down, it’s I think a real level of concern,” Dame kept at it. “We spend a lot of time around each other, more than we would our families. I think that was the No. 1 thing. And then for it to be your best player, the most important part of our team, at this point in the season, it was like an, ‘Oh, [damn]’ moment, especially because there was nobody else around.”

The Bucks are currently one game and a half ahead of the Knicks, and two matches in front of the Cavaliers in the race for the Eastern Conference’s second spot, only behind the powerful Celtics.