NBA playoffs: Bucks rule out Giannis Antetokounmpo (back) for Game 3 vs. Heat

The Milwaukee Bucks will will once again be playing against the Miami Heat without Giannis Antetokounmpo.

The former MVP was ruled out for Game 3 of the Bucks' first-round series Saturday with a back contusion.

Antetokounmpo sustained the injury in the Bucks' Game 1 loss Sunday when he fell hard on his back in the first quarter. He returned to the game shortly after, but left for good in the second quarter and missed all of the Bucks' runaway Game 2 win.

Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer indicated Antetokounmpo was making progress before the game Saturday, according to The Athletic's Eric Nehm:

"I think we'll continue to monitor him through the day tomorrow, through the day the next day. These things, I don't think it's always just this linear thing and he's not in a place that he can go. So, we'll just continue to monitor him, work with him and hope for the best."

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) looks on during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Tuesday, April 4, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jess Rapfogel)
Giannis Antetokounmpo is recovering, but not ready yet. (AP Photo/Jess Rapfogel)

The Bucks aren't the only shorthanded team in the series as the Heat will be without former Sixth Man of the Year Tyler Herro for the next six weeks.