Damian Lillard loves what he’s seeing from the Milwaukee Bucks in their recent games.
The Bucks got off to a slow start this 2023-24 season after trading for Lillard and creating a new powerful duo with Giannis Antetokounmpo. They actually lost two of their first four games, bowing down to the likes of the Atlanta Hawks and Toronto Raptors.
Of course it sparked plenty of concerns among the Milwaukee faithful, especially after seeing Jrue Holiday–one of the key pieces they traded to get Lillard–thrive with the Boston Celtics. The Bucks’ defense has been suspect, and it doesn’t help that Dame has been somewhat of a liability on that end of the floor.
There were plenty of supporters who quickly panicked and shared their regrets that the Bucks parted ways with their best perimeter defender in Holiday for an offensive boost in Lillard.
After 21 games, however, those concerns are quickly fading. And after the Bucks secured a ticket to the NBA In-Season Tournament semifinals with a win over the New York Knicks on Tuesday, it certainly looks the team is starting to click.
Damian Lillard Loves Bucks’ Growth
Speaking to reporters after their 146-122 demolition of the Knicks, Lillard heaped praise on the Bucks and how they have grown through the first quarter of the campaign.
While they are still in the bottom 10 of the NBA in defense, it hasn’t slowed them down. They have now won eight of their last 10 games and improved to 15-6 on the season–just half a game behind the Boston Celtics for the East’s top seed.
“I really like how we’re starting to learn each other. It’s been some bumps in that process where we don’t play great some nights but we’re still able to win those games and I think now, it’s just starting to get a little more smooth,” Lillard said of the Bucks’ development, per Gabe Stoltz of Brew Hoop.
“Knowing where we should be on the floor, knowing how to give each other outlets, knowing how to help each other be who we are. It’s not perfect, but I just like that we’re showing improvement and it’s carrying over and you can see it on the floor.”
Sure enough, the Bucks have yet to reach their peak. They also have some more room for improvement as they look to cement themselves as title contenders. As Lillard suggested, however, they are on the right track.
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