Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo and Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro both left Game 1 of the first-round clash between these two Eastern Conference teams on Sunday due to injury. Neither player returned to the floor and now their 2023 NBA Playoffs status is up in the air.
Herro, 23, suffered a broken right hand and is most likely out for the remainder of the postseason. He dove for the ball late in the first half and stayed on the floor during the final seconds before the break.
Despite the broken hand, Herro managed to score a corner triple, grimacing in pain after the ball splashed through the net.
Antetokounmpo, 28, played just six minutes before landing hard on his back due to a collision with Kevin Love.
The “Greek Freak” was going for a dunk when Love tried to take a charge. Antetokounmpo tried to shake it off, but was unable to continue and was diagnosed with a “lower back contusion.”
NBA injuries due to attrition or playoffs intensity?
His fall was nearly identical to how Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant suffered a right hand injury earlier in the day during a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Witnessing three severe injuries within less than a couple hours of each other has fans wondering if it’s due to attrition or playoffs intensity.
The latter is probably the correct answer. Antetokounmpo, for example, has already returned from a scary injury during the playoffs before leading his team to a championship.
During the NBA postseason, every possession matters, and teams play with an intensity unlike in any regular game throughout the year. These athletes are built to last the entire season, but the nature of the sport will, unfortunately, always produce injuries.