For the first time in his career, Milwaukee Bucks point guard Damian Lillard is playing alongside a two-time NBA MVP who is widely considered one of the most dominant players in the history of the game. That man is Giannis Antetokounmpo, who himself conceded that he too has not played with a player of Dame’s caliber throughout the former’s decorated career.
For his part, however, Lillard has had a Giannis-like teammate in the past. At least somewhat.
Milwaukee Bucks Star Damian Lillard Compares Giannis to Ex-Teammate
In a recent interview with Eric Nehm of The Athletic, Dame revealed that he actually sees a lot of former Portland Trail Blazers teammate LaMarcus Aldridge in Giannis:
“I think it takes reps, like anything else,” Lillard said on building his partnership with Antetokounmpo. “Like, I played with somebody similar — well, not a similar player, but a high-level player — with LaMarcus Aldridge in pick-and-roll, but I was young. So, it’s new for me to have somebody that’s this much of a threat, like somebody that can take over a game dominating 40 points, 20 rebounds, 10 assists and missed two shots.”
Aldridge, who recently retired from professional basketball after a memorable 12-year career, was a bona fide superstar in his heyday. However, one could argue that he isn’t really at the same level as Giannis. The fact of the matter is that very few players, if any, are.
Even Lillard himself doubled back a bit on his comparison, noting that Aldridge and Antetokounmpo aren’t exactly “similar” players.
A Budding Partnership
With regard to his partnership with Giannis, Lillard admits that this is still a work in progress. The seven-time All-Star point guard, however, has a pretty good idea as to how they can accelerate the process. The secret, according to Lillard, lies in the pick-and-roll:
“So, it’s different for me too, but I think it just takes reps,” Dame continued. “I think we need to be in more pick-and-roll situations together. I think that’s how you get better. That’s how you learn each other better. I think we just aren’t in a lot of pick-and-rolls where I’m handling and he’s setting. And we haven’t locked in on it enough … I think right now we don’t get enough reps at it in the game against the coverages because we don’t run it all the time, like you would assume. So, it’s just taking some time for us to get it down.”
This feels like an indirect message for Coach Adrian Griffin. Let’s see if the rookie shot-caller heeds Lillard’s call here.
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 email@example.com. 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.