David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images
Milwaukee Bucks reserve Thanasis Antetokounmpo, the older brother of Giannis, has been ruled out for Saturday’s Game 5 of the NBA Finals. He will enter the league’s health and safety protocols.
Shams Charania @ShamsCharania
Bucks’ Thanasis Antetokounmpo has entered health and safety protocols and is listed out for Game 5 of the NBA Finals vs. Suns.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Malika Andrews later reported that Bucks assistant coach Josh Oppenheimer wouldn’t be at the game either:
Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn
Bucks assistant Josh Oppenheimer won’t be on bench for Game 5, sources tell @malika_andrews and me. https://t.co/kiXQ75FjlX
Wojnarowski reported Saturday marks the third consecutive game where Oppenheimer has been unavailable.
The championship series between the Bucks and Phoenix Suns is tied 2-2. The small forward has played just two minutes during the Finals, grabbing three rebounds in a 120-100 victory in Game 3 on Sunday.
Through 57 regular-season games, the elder Antetokounmpo averaged 2.9 points, 2.2 rebounds and 0.8 assists in 9.7 minutes per night. He’s averaged just 0.7 points and 0.8 rebounds in 13 playoff appearances.
Michael Lee @MrMichaelLee
I’ll be interested in seeing how Giannis Antetokounmpo responds with his big brother Thanasis sidelined because of health & safety protocols. TA didn’t play much but always gave GA that pregame hug/pep talk & has provided calming words at critical moments, like Game 7 in Brooklyn
Earlier Saturday, Milwaukee head coach Mike Budenholzer told The Athletic’s Sam Amick he’s been concerned about the rising number of COVID-19 cases across the country.
“I mean, we are aware—we live in this world—whether it’s all 50 states going up or things that are happening closer to us at home,” Budenholzer said. “I think all the players, I think they’re locked in, being safe, being healthy. Hoping for the best for everybody around us and our country. But, yeah, there’s a real push to stay safe, to stay healthy, to be vigilant. Both teams, we’re very, very close to the finish. We’re excited about finishing this strong.”
Hours later Thanasis entered the league’s protocol.