The Milwaukee Bucks got some redemption on Monday night following their 122-114 victory over the Miami Heat at the Fiserv Forum. This was the first time the Bucks faced off against their Eastern Conference nemesis since Miami eliminated them in the first round of last season’s playoffs.
Milwaukee was playing on a second night of a back-to-back set on Monday and was coming off a loss too, so the fact that they scrapped out a win against the defending East champs is a massive step in the right direction for this squad.
Damian Lillard Sounds Off on Bobby Portis’ Heroics for Milwaukee Bucks
This was a nice bounceback game for Damian Lillard, who was coming off a six-point clunker in their loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday. Dame logged 25 points on 7-of-14 shooting against the Heat, to go along with two triples, five rebounds, four assists, a steal, and four turnovers in 35 minutes of action.
A lot of credit needs to be given to Bobby Portis as well, with the veteran big man coming off the bench to inject some much-needed energy for Milwaukee. Portis finished with 16 points on 7-of-10 from the field, eight rebounds, two dimes, two steals, a block, and of course, a lot of intangibles that don’t show up on the box score.
After the game, Dame had nothing but praise for his new Bucks teammate:
“It’s fun,” Lillard said of Portis’ ability to hype the crowd as if on command, via Gabe Stoltz of Brew Hoops. “I think he comes in and he does what he does. I think a lot of times around this league you have the stars, you have the guys that everybody looks at, then you have those guys who are the fan favorites because they come, they do their job… the toughness, the confidence, the energy that they bring… it can be infectious and they can change a team.
“I saw it from afar but being on the team, you even see it from him during practice. It’s not just like we just get in front of a crowd and then he turns it on like that. He’s like that in practice… any time he gets competitive.
“Having a guy who can impact a game like that off the bench ability-wise but also with his energy is impressive and I’m happy to be part of that.”
More of the same will be required from both Portis and Lillard throughout this season. Portis, in particular, will need to play his role to a tee, with the Bucks’ supporting cast expected to play a critical role in this team’s championship aspirations in 2023-24.
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