- 2020 NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo has been ruled out for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Thursday night.
- Antetokounmpo went down hard in the second half of Milwaukee’s Game 4 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday.
- The immediate diagnosis was a hyperextended knee though Antetokounmpo fortunately avoided any structural damage.
Not a huge surprise given the circumstances but the Milwaukee Bucks have officially ruled out Giannis Antetokounmpo for Game 5 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals on Thursday night. Antetokounmpo went down hard after an awkward landing in Game 4 suffering a hyperextended knee. There was concern that he could have also suffered structural damage and possibly torn ligaments but a MRI on Wednesday indicated none. There is still no timeline for Antetokounmpo to return though the general recovery time for a ‘mild’ hyperextension is typically two to four weeks.
The Atlanta Hawks have their own injury issues. Most significantly, point guard Trae Young missed Game 4 with a bone bruise and is listed as ‘questionable’ for Thursday’s game. Other sources suggest that Young is a ‘game time decision’. Shooting guard Bogdan Bogdanovic has been dealing with knee soreness throughout the playoffs but has been upgraded to ‘probable’. Center Clint Capela is listed as ‘questionable’ due to a swolen right eye. Capela took an elbow to the face in the fourth quarter of Game 4.
Bookmakers initially opened Game 5 with Milwaukee -3 and were quickly met with ‘sharp’ action on the Hawks that took the line to -2.5 and -2. By Wednesday night, the overwhelming majority of sportsbooks in Nevada and Colorado had Milwaukee -2 though a few had moved to -1.5. With Antetokounmpo ruled out there has been something of a counterintuitive line movement with every major sportsbook in the US and offshore showing Milwaukee -3. The betting splits reported by VSIN from DraftKings show almost perfectly balanced two way action on the Hawks/Bucks pointspread with 51% of the handle on Atlanta and 52% of the bets on Milwaukee:
The total has seen virtually no movement from last night with most books still at 215 or 215.5. BetMGM is dealing 214.5 OV -115. TwinSpires has the game at 216. Betfred in Colorado has the total at 216 UN -120. The most common moneyline has Milwaukee -145 with takeback on the Hawks at +125.