The Milwaukee Bucks’ chances of beating the Phoenix Suns in the 2021 NBA Finals hinge on the health of Giannis Antetokounmpo. The best player in the series is still recovering from a knee injury that forced him to miss the final two games of the Eastern Conference Finals.

One day before Tuesday’s Game 1 in Phoenix, Antetokounmpo was listed as doubtful on the official injury report. Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer had previously said Antetokounmpo is day-to-day.

“He’s had a good day,” Budenholzer told reporters Monday. "He’s making good progress.”

Antetokounmpo didn’t have to speak with the media Monday because of his uncertain status for the NBA Finals. The two-time MVP instead worked out at a private gym on Saturday, playing on a basketball court for the first time since getting hurt four days earlier.

Antetokounmpo has made significant progress since hyperextending his knee a week ago, according to NBA TV’s Jared Greenberg. He avoided structural damage to his knee when he went down with the injury on June 29 against the Atlanta Hawks.

Milwaukee defeated Atlanta in the next two games with Antetokounmpo sidelined, punching the Bucks' ticket to the NBA Finals. Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes reported that there was a belief Antetokounmpo would've been allowed the play if the conference finals went to Game 7.

The Suns are favored to beat the Bucks in light of Antetokounmpo’s injury. Phoenix has been one of the healthiest teams in a postseason filled with injuries. Chris Paul had 41 points and no turnovers in the Western Conference Finals clincher after missing the first two games of the series with COVID-19.

This marks the second time in three years that the best player in the Finals could miss the start of the series with an injury. Kevin Durant didn’t play in the first four games of the 2019 NBA Finals with a calf strain. Durant returned in Game 5 and tore his Achilles after spending 12 minutes on the court.

Antetokounmpo leads the Bucks with 28.2 points and 12.7 rebounds per game this postseason.

Giannis Antetokounmpo Milwaukee Bucks Clint Capela Atlanta Hawks
Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks is injured against Clint Capela #15 of the Atlanta Hawks during the second half in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Finals at State Farm Arena on June 29, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images