With each game Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo sits, he sets a new high-water mark for consecutive games missed. I’m here to tell Bucks fans: there is no need to worry.
In my 20 years covering the NBA, I have never seen a schedule so compressed, grueling, and demanding as the current.
When the Bucks face the Atlanta Hawks Thursday night, they will finish a ten-game stretch in which nine will be played away from Milwaukee.
The reward for finishing up a six-game western conference road trip: Playing the very next night at home.
On seven occasions in the second half, the Bucks schedule features three games in four days. Orlando one day, Minneapolis the next, then on to Atlanta.
To date, the Bucks have played 54 games. Giannis has appeared in 45.
Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant has appeared in just 22. Fellow Nets star James Harden 34.
LeBron James and Anthony Davis have played in 41 and 23 of the Lakers 55 games.
Each of the players mentioned are dealing with injuries. Most of the players mentioned would be on the floor tonight if it were a playoff series.
Giannis is just the latest in a long line of superstars allowed to catch his breath during the most challenging and demanding 12-month stretch in NBA history.
A 60-win season and top overall seed is nice, but it’s no longer aspirational for the Bucks. The focus for Milwaukee from day-one…as expressed by the Greek Freak himself…is to be right when the second season begins.