Just hours before tonight’s crucial Game 5 of the NBA Finals, the Milwaukee Bucks are down a notable, if not essential player. Thanasis Antetokounmpo, a reserve and brother of former MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, has entered the league’s health and safety protocols.
So far, it is unclear whether he has tested positive for COVID-19, or if he’s a close contact. The league has been pretty stringent with how it’s handled things this season. The Phoenix Suns lost Chris Paul for a few games earlier in the playoff run.
Obviously, the immediate questions have been about Giannis. So far, there is no indication that he’s at risk of missing time.
The 28-year old Thanasis is in his second year with his brother’s Bucks. He was drafted by the New York Knicks and appeared in two games in 2015-16, and has played in Greece for Panathinaikos.
Bucks' Thanasis Antetokounmpo has entered health and safety protocols and is listed out for Game 5 of the NBA Finals vs. Suns.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 17, 2021
He appeared in 57 games for Milwaukee this season, averaging 2.9 points and 2.2 rebounds in just under 10 minutes per game.
His role has diminished in the postseason, with 13 appearances averaging 3.5 minutes, and less than a point per game. He’s made just one two-minute appearance in this series against the Phoenix Suns.
Game 5 of this year’s NBA Finals between Phoenix and Milwaukee is set to tip off at 9 p.m. ET tonight. The series returns to Phoenix for this game. The teams split the first four games, with each side holding serve in their two home games.