Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo (left knee) out against Pacers


Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (left knee soreness) has been downgraded to out for Monday afternoon’s home game versus the Indiana Pacers on MLK Day.

This is the third straight game the six-time All-Star has missed. Jrue Holiday (right ankle sprain) and Bobby Portis (right quad bruise) are listed as probable. Of course, Serge Ibaka (personal), Joe Ingles (rest), and Khris Middleton (knee) remain out for this intraconference matchup.

Based on a few NBA betting sites, the Bucks possess the second-best odds to win the championship. Several sportsbooks are giving the Boston Celtics the highest odds to return to the NBA Finals.

“We continue to think it’s kind of the stuff that he and us have dealt with, for me it’s each year that I’ve been here,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer 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. We know how important he is to us.”

Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo (left knee soreness) has been downgraded to out vs. Pacers on Monday

Budenholzer said Antetokounmpo’s status for Tuesday’s game against the Toronto Raptors is unknown at this time. “We’ll see how he responds, see how he’s feeling tomorrow,” added the Milwaukee coach.

Through 35 starts this season, the Greek Freak is averaging a career-high 31 points per game, along with 11.9 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 33.7 minutes. He’s also shooting 52.4% from the field and 65.3% at the foul line.

On Jan. 3, in the Bucks’ 123-113 win over the Washington Wizards, the two-time MVP logged a career-high 55 points in 37 minutes of action. He finished 20-of-33 (60.6%) shooting from the floor and 15-of-16 (93.8%) at the free throw line.

For Indiana’s injury report, Myles Turner (back) and Goga Bitadze (illness) are questionable. Daniel Theis (knee), Tyrese Haliburton (elbow), and Kendall Brown (tibia) remain out indefinitely. Haliburton could return as early as next week.

Furthermore, the Pacers are 6-4 in their last 10 games. They’ve their past three consecutive contests. The Pacers are winless in their last eight matchups versus Milwaukee. And Indiana is 3-10 ATS in its previous 13 meetings against the Bucks.

Meanwhile, the Bucks are 8-0 in their past eight home games against Indiana. They’re also 13-5 in their previous 18 meetings versus Central Division opponents. Milwaukee is 16-5 at home, 23-9 as a favorite, and 27-16 overall. On the other side, the Pacers are 8-12 away, 14-17 as an underdog, and 23-21 overall.

According to ESPN’s Basketball Power Index, the Bucks have a 65.8% chance of defeating Indiana. Sportsbooks show Milwaukee as a six-point favorite at home.

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