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Bucks’ Thanasis Antetokounmpo out for Game 5; enters health, safety protocols

Pro Basketball Talk's Kurt Helin and Corey Robinson analyze Phoenix's performance in Milwaukee and agree there's no doubt that Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton need to return to form from the beginning of the series.

This does not impact the Bucks rotations against the Suns, but it is not good news.

Bucks’ bench player Thanasis Antetokounmpo has entered the league’s health and safety protocols and is out for Game 5 of the NBA Finals. Milwaukee made the news public in its injury report prior to Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

Thanasis — the brother of Bucks’ star Giannis Antetokounmpo — has played just 1:33 these finals, some garbage time at the very end of Game 3. He saw more run in previous rounds against the Hawks and Nets, but still never more than 10 minutes in any game (and usually well below that).

There has been increased concern around these Finals — and around the players in particular — as cases of COVID-19 are on the rise again around the nation. This week having a Yankees/Red Sox game postponed after several New York players tested positive was a stark reminder that the virus is still with us and lurking.

“I pay close attention to it. I have family just like everybody else,” said Suns guard Chris Paul, who missed the first two games of the Western Conference Finals because he tested positive (despite reportedly having been vaccinated). “My parents, traveling to Milwaukee, coming to this game. My kids. L.A. just put a new mandate in where you wear a mask inside. My family is there.

“I pay attention to it just like everybody else. Try to control what I can control. Stay in the moment with the Finals, but health is a huge concern not just for my family but for everybody.”

“Yeah, it’s definitely concerning, a little disappointing as far as the pandemic coming back up again, with the cases rising,” the Bucks Khris Middleton added. You see it happened over here. We all just got to find a way to stay safe, be careful with it all.