Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo calf injury gets ‘scary’ comparison from Charles Barkley

Giannis suffered a scary injury recently.

Bucks, Charles Barkley, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant, Giannis injury

Recently, the Milwaukee Bucks received an injury scare when superstar power forward and league MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo went down with a non-contact leg injury in a recent home game vs the Boston Celtics, which the Bucks went on to win in blowout fashion. Antetokounmpo has since been diagnosed with a calf strain that will keep him out of the Bucks’ lineup for the remainder of the regular season (three games), and Milwaukee fans are surely hoping that the big man will be back in time to participate in the NBA Playoffs, which are set to begin on April 20 and 21.

The injury for some conjured up memories of when then-Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant suffered a calf injury in a second round playoff game vs the Houston Rockets in the 2019 season. Durant was sidelined for the rest of that round and the following round vs the Portland Trail Blazers before returning in Game 5 of the NBA Finals vs the Toronto Raptors, only to go down in that game with an Achilles tear that many viewed as a direct result of the calf injury.

One person who shared that thought was none other than former NBA big man and current TNT analyst Charles Barkley.

“It’s scary. … I think when Kevin Durant had the same injury he was out a month and blew out his Achilles in the first game back,” said Barkley, per NBA on TNT on X, the social media platform formerly referred to as Twitter.

How far can the Bucks go?

The Giannis Antetokounmpo injury was just the latest chapter in a 2023-24 NBA season that has been filled with setbacks for the Bucks. Despite having the second best record in the Eastern Conference (which they still do), Milwaukee chose to fire newly minted head coach Adrian Griffin just a couple of months into the season, paving the way for the team to hire Doc Rivers to be their next coach. While maintaining their hold on the second seed, the Bucks have been playing around .500 basketball under Rivers, a steep decline from the heights they reached with Griffin.

The acquisition of Damian Lillard has produced a clutch shot or two as was the hope, most notably in a game vs the Sacramento Kings at home, but the team has fallen off significantly defensively after replacing former ace Jrue Holiday with Lillard. Antetokounmpo has been viewed by many as the sole reason that the Bucks could still strike fear in an opponent come playoff time, but for the second straight year, his status in the first round is in doubt.

Last season, Antetokounmpo went down early in Game 1 of the Bucks’ series vs the Miami Heat. The Bucks quickly fell down 2-1 in that series before the star was rushed back, looking nothing like himself as the team went on to lose in five.

In any case, needless to say, Milwaukee’s chances of making any serious noise this spring rise and fall with the availability of Antetokounmpo, which is unfortunately in serious doubt at the present moment.

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