Good news for Milwaukee! Two of their most important players are set to return tonight after injuries kept them away from court, as the Bucks face the Pistons for the beginning of Week 15 of season 2022/23. Giannis Antetokoumpo and Khris Middleton are listed as probable in the team’s injury list.
This means that if Jrue Holiday plays today and the injured really do get some play time, Milwaukee would finally have there Big 3 play together, as the three players have only been together on court five times this season so far.
Most of our favorite sports betting sites consider the Bucks to have the second best odds in the league to win the NBA championship this season only behind the Boston Celtics. Do you believe Milwaukee has bigger chances this year than the Brooklyn Nets?
— TheColdWire.com (@thecoldwire) January 22, 2023
The Greek Freak has already missed the last five games with a lingering knee issue, but ever since he got sidelined on January 11th, the team was confident that it wasn’t too big of a deal. However, as the medical team was dealing with their most valuable asset, they did not want to hurry the process, so he was out longer than expected out of precaution.
Last week, coach Mike Budenholzer said the same situations happen to NBA stars after playing as much as they do every season. “We continue to think it’s the stuff that he and us have dealt with — for me it’s each year that I’ve been here,” he said. “We don’t think it’s anything more than that. Him being healthy, taking care of him is always our priority, we’re probably always going to err on the side of caution because we know how important he is to us.”
The last time Antetokounmpo missed five straight games was on December 2021, as he was recovering from COVID and had to endure all the safety protocols before he returned to the big stage. Considering the absurd amount of matches these NBA stars endure in a season, you’d expect Giannis to have missed more games by now, but he hasn’t suffered any long-term injuries yet.
In Middleton’s case its the other way around. The green foward has not played since December 15th, but has only appeared in seven games this campaign. At the beginning of the season he suffered a wrist injury and although he was certain he would be back in the offseason, his recovery extended all through the first 20 games of the tournament.
So after a bumby start of the championship and many inconsistent performances, he got a new injury in his knee and missed 18 more games. Just last week, Middleton starred in the headline news when he said that “rehab is tougher than playing games”, as he seemed desperate to return back to court.
Khris Middleton is anxious to get to the fun stuff.
The Bucks star discussed his “frustrating” rehab with @eric_nehm.
— The Athletic NBA (@TheAthleticNBA) January 16, 2023
Many fans are actually dissing the former All-Star player, as they believe the team has actually played better on court without Middleton. Milwaukee got off to a franchise-best 9-0 start, and have struggled to return to that form with their roster in full health. It will be up to Middleton to show his class, just as he did back when the Bucks won their last NBA championship.
After their loss to the Cavaliers this past Saturday, the Bucks have dropped to third place in the East with a 29-17 record, as Philadelphia is second, only one game ahead. Let’s see if tonight Milwaukee can recover against one of the Conference’s weaker teams, as the Bucks face the Pistons in Detroit (7:00pm ET).