With about five minutes left in the Bucks’ 93-78 loss in Cleveland last night, Giannis Antetokounmpo fell and hurt his back. He was trying to reach across the body of Dion Waiters — who was in full sprint — to poke away the ball after a turnover, but the collision sent him sprawling before he could get to it.
According to Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Giannis Antetokounmpo had already been dealing with some back pain — and he re-aggravated it on the play.
“My back was hurting me at the time we went out to shoot (in warmups),” Antetokounmpo said. “After I dived on the ground, I felt pain.
“I’ve never missed a game because of an injury. I hope I never miss a game but injuries are going to come. That’s part of basketball.”
Antetokounmpo stayed in the game after the play and finished the game. He swished a three-pointer a minute later, and got out quickly on a number of fast breaks in the final minutes, but it he also appeared a bit selective when it came to when and how high he jumped after the fall.
It will be interesting to see if Giannis plays in the game versus Atlanta. The Hawks are suffering through an injury spate of their own. Al Horford, Jeff Teague, DeMarre Carroll, John Jenkins, and Pero Antic are all out for tonight’s game in Milwaukee, likely leaving former Buck Gustavo Ayon as the Hawks’ starting center for the evening.