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The Milwaukee Bucks' NBA Championship hopes could well be over after their main man Giannis Antetokounmpo suffered a devastating knee injury in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference final.
The two-time NBA MVP went down really awkwardly after trying to block Atlanta Hawks star Clint Capella at the rim.
Giannis appears to have injured his leg.- Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 30, 2021
Prayers up :pray: pic.twitter.com/cHZXCIsBEd
Wincing loudly in pain, Giannis went down clutching his knee and looked visibly distressed as his Bucks teammates ran over to comfort him.
Upon closer inspection of the replays, Giannis' left knee appeared to hyper-extend under the pressure of his body following the contact during the alley-oop.
The 6-foot-9-inch big man was escorted from the court by medical staff and never returned to the game.
I just can't... my heart breaks for Giannis. Hoping he's ok :broken_heart:- Candace Parker (@Candace_Parker) June 30, 2021
Giannis Antetokounmpo is expected to undergo further imaging on his left knee tomorrow, sources told ESPN.- Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) June 30, 2021
Sources: People within the Milwaukee Bucks organization fear that Giannis Antetokounmpo has suffered a severe ACL injury. However, no MRI has been done yet.- Farbod Esnaashari (@Farbod_E) June 30, 2021
Past the first round, every single playoff team has had an injury to their best or 2nd best player.- StatMuse (@statmuse) June 30, 2021
Suns: Chris Paul
Bucks: Giannis pic.twitter.com/3PrLuE8Jlo
Giannis Antetokounmpo is OUT for the rest of Bucks-Hawks Game 4 with hyperextended left knee.- Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 30, 2021
At the time of the awful injury, Milwaukee was down 62-52 with seven minutes left to play in the third quarter and Giannis had 14 points, eight rebounds and three assists to his name.
But with their biggest threat watching on from the locker room, the Bucks ended up losing 110-88 at the hands of the Hawks who were without their main star Trae Young.
Fans flooded to social media to wish Giannis a speedy recovery.
Even four-time NBA champion LeBron James chimed in, sending his friend a message of support.
Giannis is the latest big-name star to join the long list of NBA players who have suffered potential season-ending injuries this year.
Kawhi Leonard's reported ACL tear which has kept him sidelined for the Los Angeles Clippers drew a strong reaction from the players themselves - in particular, LeBron.
The Lakers megastar took to social media to publicly call out the NBA, practically putting the blame for the increased injuries on the league itself citing the organisation's decision to start the competition earlier than usual.
"They all didn't wanna listen to me about the start of the season," LeBron tweeted.
"I knew exactly what would happen. I only wanted to protect the well being of the players which ultimately is the PRODUCT & BENEFIT of OUR GAME!
"These injuries aren't just 'PART OF THE GAME'. It's the lack of pure RIM REST before starting back up. 8, possibly 9, ALL-STARS have missed playoff games (most in the league's history).
"This is the best time of the year for our league and fans but missing a ton of our fav players. It's insane.
"If there's one person that know about the body and how it works all year round it's ME! I speak for the health of all our players and I hate to see this many injuries this time of the year. Sorry fans wish you guys were seeing all your fav guys right now."
Although the NBA later fact checked LeBron and produced figures that put his theory to bed.
More from NBA spokesman Mike Bass to @NYTSports on criticism of this season's schedule registered today by LeBron James:- Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 16, 2021
"While injuries are an unfortunate reality of our game, we recognize the enormous sacrifices NBA players and teams have made to play through this pandemic."
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