Sources: Giannis Antetokounmpo will play in NBA Finals Game 1 vs Suns

After being upgraded from doubtful to questionable Tuesday morning, Giannis Antetokounmpo has been cleared to play in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, sources told Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes. 

The Milwaukee Bucks star hasn’t played since suffering a hyperextended left knee in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Atlanta Hawks on June 29. The Bucks won Games 5 and 6 without the two-time league MVP to secure their spot in the NBA Finals against the Phoenix Suns. 

Antetokounmpo warmed up prior to Tuesday’s game before the team made the decision for him to start. 

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While imaging allayed initial fears that Antetokounmpo sustained structural damage after his knee buckled the wrong way, his status for his first NBA Finals remained in doubt. The Bucks leaned on Khris Middleton to carry a heavier offensive load and looked more to Brook Lopez in the paint during his absence late in the Eastern Conference finals. 

Antetokounmpo has averaged 28.2 points, 12.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists during the postseason. The Suns were listed as -200 favorites to win the NBA championship prior to the news of his status for Game 1. 

Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo dribbles during the first half of Game 1 of the NBA Eastern Conference basketball finals game against the Atlanta Hawks Wednesday, June 23, 2021, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

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