UPDATE: March 24 — Antetokounmpo will be available to play in Wednesday’s game vs. the Celtics. So Connaughton will head back to the bench and there’s no indication Giannis will be held on any type of minutes restriction. The one thing to look out for is the Bucks going up before the second half and pulling away. Milwaukee could opt to rest Giannis if that is the case and the game is out of reach. Otherwise, he should be a full go.
UPDATE: March 23 — Giannis is being listed as questionable to play in Wednesday’s game vs. the Boston Celtics. He was ruled out for Monday vs. the Pacers and the Bucks scored 140 points. Connaughton ended up starting in place of Giannis with Middleton shifting to PF. We’ll see if The Greek Freak can get back into the lineup from his knee injury.
Antetokounmpo practiced on Tuesday and he was seen taking shots before Monday’s game, so chances are he’s back in the lineup against Boston. PJ Tucker (ankle) is questionable after leaving vs. the Pacers.
Milwaukee Bucks All-Star PF Giannis Antetokounmpo is being listed as doubtful to play in Monday’s game vs. the Indiana Pacers due to a knee injury. Giannis appeared to be OK in Saturday’s win over the San Antonio Spurs, scoring 26 points with 15 assists and 8 rebounds in 34 minutes. Antetokounmpo is dealing with a knee sprain, though we don’t know the severity of the injury right now. It looks like he’ll be sidelined to start the week.
UPDATE: The Bucks are rolling out a wacky starting lineup against the Pacers. So Pat Connaughton? will start for Antetokounmpo on Monday night. The Bucks originally released a lineup that had Portis in there at PF for Giannis. Then I guess they changed their mind? Anyway, Portis and Connaughton should both be good value plays around $4K on DK.
UPDATE: Giannis is being listed as out for Monday’s game vs. the Pacers.
It’s been a rough week for MVP candidates. Joel Embiid got hurt last weekend. LeBron James went down with a high ankle sprain on Saturday. Nikola Jokic is OK for the time being (I knocked on wood, don’t worry). Now Giannis has a sprained knee. So the MVP market just got shook up again. After the LeBron injury, things opened up for Jokic, Giannis and even James Harden and Luka Doncic to win MVP.
Jokic is the favorite at -110. James is down to +450, followed by Embiid (+600), Giannis (+800) and Harden (+800). Before this injury was revealed for Antetokounmpo, he would have been a solid bet given the odds and situation. James could be out anywhere from a week, to a few weeks to a month or even into May. Embiid should be back soon, but it’s in the Sixers best interest to just let him get 100 percent healthy. Jokic has a great MVP case. The only knock is the Denver Nuggets aren’t quite at the level of elite in the West yet. So Harden and Giannis are decent long-shot bets at 8/1.
As for fantasy basketball, the Bucks’ offense will turn to Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday. In DFS, Middleton and Holiday will be appealing GPP and cash-game plays against the Pacers. If you’re looking for a stop-gap or waiver wire pickup in season-long, Bobby Portis would be the lean over someone like PJ Tucker. Portis has more offensive upside and pop. Tucker may end up playing more minutes, but isn’t really known for his ability to score the rock. If you’re looking for value in DFS on Monday, Pat Connaughton could be the way to go.