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Bucks: Starting guard Donte DiVincenzo to miss rest of playoffs

Donte DiVincenzo in Bucks-Heat Game 3

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 27: Donte DiVincenzo #0 of the Milwaukee Bucks reacts after injuring his ankle against the Miami Heat during the second quarter in Game Three of the Eastern Conference first-round playoff series at American Airlines Arena on May 27, 2021 in Miami, Florida. DiVincenzo did not return to the game.NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

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The Bucks – up 3-0 on the Heat – are gearing up for a second-round series against the Nets (who are up 2-0 on the Celtics).

Brooklyn, of course, has star guards James Harden and Kyrie Irving.

But Milwaukee must face that defensive challenge without starting shooting guard Donte DiVincenzo.

Bucks release:

Milwaukee Bucks guard Donte DiVincenzo will miss the remainder of the 2021 Playoffs due to a torn ligament in his left ankle. The injury occurred in the second period of the Bucks’ Game 3 win at Miami last night.

DiVincenzo hasn’t played well against Miami, but his defense would have been so important in the next round. And his shooting might have come around.

This is a blow.

The Bucks will likely lean more on Bryn Forbes and Pat Connaughton. Forbes is a tough-minded shooting specialist who has been hot against the Heat, but at 6-foot-2, he has defensive challenges. Connaughton is more of a hustle player. They were playing behind DiVincenzo for a reason.

At least Milwaukee still has Jrue Holiday to defend one of Harden or Irving.

DiVincenzo also missed significant time his rookie year with a foot injury. He’ll be eligible for a contract extension this offseason, and health should be a consideration.

The Bucks intended to trade DiVincenzo for Bogdan Bogdanovic last offseason, but the deal fell through amid tampering issues. This injury only adds to the “what if?”