Bucks lose Giannis while Heat lose Tyler Herro. How long will they be out?
On Sunday night the Miami Heat took on the Milwaukee Bucks in what turned out to be a big win for the Heat, but both teams definitely lost big on the injury front.
Though the Heat will be happy for the all-important win, their roster took a major blow with the loss of their starting guard. The Bucks on the other hand will be sweating on the health of their biggest star after he left the game before halftime.
Giannis’ exit changed game for the Bucks
Bucks fans will likely be anxious tonight, as we wait for word on how serious Giannis Antetokounmpo’s injury is. Of course, the loss of the two-time league MVP during the second quarter only added insult to literal injury in what eventually became a 130-117 win for the Heat who now have 1-0 lead in their playoff first round series.
With regards to what happened to the Bucks star, it was late in the first quarter when Giannis appeared to make contact with Kevin Love on a drive to the hoop. The result was a hard fall to the floor, while Love was called for a blocking foul. Though Antetokounmpo was able to shoot the resulting free throws, it was clear that all was not well. The 28-year-old would continue for a short while but was ultimately taken out of the game. Surprisingly, he took to the court in the second quarter but was removed for good before halftime and ruled out with a lower back contusion. Head coach Mike Budenholzer declined to give any significant details about Giannis’ status but did say that initial X-rays had come back clear. “We’ll monitor him and see how he wakes up tomorrow,” he said.
It goes without saying that Antetokounmpo’s departure changed the complexion of the game, with the Heat climbing to a 68-55 lead at halftime. It would also be safe to assume that if the Bucks biggest weapon should have to be absent for any length of time, it could significantly damage the Bucks’ playoff hopes. Not ideal for a team that entered the postseason with the best record in the league.
The Heat lose Tyler Herro
On a night when the team put on a stellar performance to defeat the No. 1 team in the league, the Heat also had to contend with a major injury blow of their own. Only in Miami’s case, there is no chance that their player will play again in these playoffs. During the first half Heat start guard, Tyler Herro dived for a loose ball and appeared to suffer an injury to his hand. In visible pain, Herro continued to play for a short period of time and even took a shot with the same hand, before being removed after which he immediately jogged to the locker room. It was later reported that he had broken his hand.
Named Sixth Man of the Year in 2022, Herro averaged 20.7 points per game off the bench - this season he’s averaging 20.1 - as he established himself as a genuine star on the Heat’s roster. This is to say, that his absence represents a major void that needs to be filled. From his league leading 93.4% free-throw shooting, to his all-round work ethic on both ends of the court, Herro can play ball. None the less, what’s done is done i.e., as much as the loss of Herro is harsh, they did get a major win against a serious opponent. The best thing they can do now is focus on doing that once again in Game 2.