Bucks Not Taking Any Chances With Giannis

Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee) did not play against the Bulls on Monday

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
February 26, 2019 - 9:00 am
Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo Drives To Basket

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NBA MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo did not play against the Bulls due to knee soreness Monday, but the Bucks (46-14) didn’t need him. Although they trailed 38-25 after the first quarter, the Bucks ultimately cruised to a 117-106 victory and have now won 17 of their last 19 games.

Fear not, Bucks fans. Antetokounmpo’s absence was precautionary.

“They’re not going to take any chances with him – or anyone – with injuries,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Bucks reporter Matt Velazquez said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “If somebody is not 100 percent, they’re going to give them a chance to get there. It helps to have Chicago on the schedule for doing that. But you got to give guys a chance to get healthy whenever you can.”

Khris Middleton and Malcolm Brogdon both finished with a team-high 22 points, as six Bucks finished in double figures. Milwaukee outscored Chicago 38-16 in the second quarter to seize control of the game.

That the Bucks can dominate without Antetokounmpo is a testament to head coach Mike Budenholzer.

“They play the same way – they try to play the same way – regardless of who’s on the court,” Velazquez said. “Nobody really had to play a ton of minutes tonight, but generally everyone was in the 20s. They were able to spread the minutes. Everybody can run, even with a depleted roster with Giannis out and George Hill out, Sterling Brown out, Donte DiVincenzo out. All the rest of the guys coalesced together and said, ‘All right, let’s all get our minutes, put it all together and make easy work of it.’ 

“But Middleton and Brogdon for sure in terms of being more aggressive and kind of finding their shots – it took them a while to get going, but once they did, they were huge parts of that second quarter that turned the game.”

The Bucks, who have the best record in the NBA, lead Toronto (44-17) by 2.5 games in the East.