The Milwaukee Bucks have had to turn to Cameron Payne over the last two games with Damian Lillard sidelined. The seven-time All-Star has been dealing with a lingering calf injury that has forced him to miss the last two contests, which has required Payne to step in as Milwaukee’s starting point guard.
Cameron Payne Speaks Out on Starting for Milwaukee Bucks
Payne, who joined Milwaukee via free agency during the offseason, has deputized quite well in Lillard’s stead. In the last two games, the 29-year-old has averaged 10.5 points on 52.9 percent shooting, 2.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.0 steals in 27.8 minutes of action. Payne has also been deadly from beyond the arc, knocking down 1.5 triples per contest on a 60.0-percent clip.
It’s all about staying ready for Payne. Lillard is not unfamiliar with the occasional injury spell, and as Dame’s backup, Payne knows that he just has to be prepared for whenever his number is going to be called.
Be that as it may, Payne also admits that he’s still acclimatizing with his new team. This is also why suddenly being inserted into the starting five has also presented its challenges to the veteran:
“It was different for me starting,” he said. “Obviously, being here is different for me. So just trying to learn as much as I can. Trying to learn tendencies with guys. I really haven’t played with the first unit, so that was different for me trying to figure out what plays I need to run with the group I’m out there with.
“So it’s just been a learning curve trying to figure things out because I’ve been trying to figure things out with the second unit, and then up there all that stuff changed now with the first unit. Kinda a lot different. So just trying to pick up things as fast as I can. trying to learn so that I can come out there and do the point guard abilities for my team.”
Payne’s experience thus far has been very similar to how the Bucks have fared this season. It is clear that this team is still trying to learn how to play as one cohesive unit, which also means that there’s going to be a lot of growing pains along the way.
“Yeah, it’s tough,” Payne said. “It’s a little bit different. Like I said, everybody trying to learn. We’re all trying to learn in the midst of having to win games.
“It’s a little tough because all our guys are pretty competitive. Our competitive nature kinda take over when we in the game. We kinda gotta make sure we stick to the things coach ask us to do so that we can come out on top in the end.”
For More Wisconsin Sports:
Follow me on Twitter at @PaoloSongcoNBA, and follow us @WiSportsHeroics. Also, check out our Merchandise Here! Get 20% off with the code “WSH.” You can also reach out to Paolo Songco via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. To read more of our articles and keep up to date on the latest in ALL of Wisconsin sports, click here! Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers, Milwaukee Bucks, Wisconsin Badgers.