If Giannis Can Play, He Should Play in Game 5.
In sports in 2020, we worry too much about our athletes. The athlete empowerment era leads people to think about the athletes’ future versus the team or athlete himself. It is all about the future. This has swung the other way from the ’90s and even the early 2000s where the fan and journalist mindset was ‘Rub some dirt on it and get out there’ to now ‘we have to be careful so player x doesn’t hurt his future.’ Of course, there should be a middle ground with all of these things. If Giannis Antetokounmpo plays tomorrow, the amount of handwringing about him playing will be nauseating.
Shams Charania reported that Giannis is trending in the right direction, and he might be able to play tomorrow. This is unexpected. After two ankle injuries in four days, it felt like Giannis would not be ready for Game 5, and he would have to be on ice until Game 6 at the earliest. Giannis could easily be part of The Seven, so, I’m not surprised that he might be ready to play on Tuesday. People can be concerned that he might hurt himself again, but if Antetokounmpo believes he can go out there with the training staff feeling the same way, let’s do it.
Bucks trainers have never put anyone at risk in recent memory. They’ve taken all the proper steps with guys like Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, Jabari Parker, and others in the past. There is not once where we questioned the methods of Bucks’ trainers. Kevin Durant’s name has been brought up before, but remember, Golden State training staff did not have a good reputation. Suki Hobson, Milwaukee’s Strength, and Conditioning coach is considered one of the best in basketball. She will be part of the group that makes this decision on Antetokounmpo. These are not people who shouldn’t be trusted.
Giannis playing on Tuesday could lead to a Grade 3 Ankle Sprain. If Giannis had a Grade 3 sprain right now, he would not be thinking about playing. It is more likely a Grade 2 or somewhere between a Grade 1 or 2 sprains. Is there the risk that Giannis could get a Grade 3 sprain? Yes. But that’s sports and life. We take risks all the time. This is a major risk, but if Antetokounmpo believes he can stay healthy and not get more hurt, let’s fucking roll.