Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo will miss his first game of the season on Wednesday night, the result of tendon soreness in his right quadriceps, according to the team’s latest injury report.
Antetokounmpo played 35 minutes, more than his season average, against the Orlando Magic on Monday. He was on the floor when the buzzer sounded on a 110-101 victory, and there was no indication of injury.
If quad soreness is a euphemism for load management, Wednesday night specifically is an odd time for the Bucks to give Antetokounmpo the night off. They are riding a 15-game winning streak and play a nationally televised game against the New Orleans Pelicans on ESPN. Milwaukee’s first back-to-back in two weeks is this coming weekend, when the Bucks will play in Memphis on Friday and host Cleveland on Saturday.
If ever there was a time to rest a nagging injury for a few games, this would be it, though. The Pelicans, Grizzlies and Cavaliers are all among the seven worst teams in the NBA. That string is followed by marquee matchups against Luka Doncic’s Dallas Mavericks and LeBron James’ Los Angeles Lakers next week.
Antetokounmpo is averaging career highs of 30.9 points and 13.2 rebounds, along with 5.5 assists and 2.6 combined blocks and steals in just 31.6 minutes per game. The reigning MVP is among a favorite to repeat, as his Bucks own the NBA’s best record (21-3) and best net rating (12.7 points per 100 possessions).
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