Milwaukee Bucks head coach Adrian Griffin revealed after their 131-124 win over the Miami Heat on Tuesday that he wanted to turn to Damian Lillard down the stretch. Dame had the hot hand in crunch time after hitting a couple of clutch triples in what turned out to be a close game against a shorthanded Miami side.
Apparently, Giannis Antetokounmpo demanded that the Bucks set up a play for Khris Middleton instead — a decision that paid dividends for Milwaukee.
Damian Lillard Speaks Out on Milwaukee Bucks Turning to Khris Middleton
Dame had no problem with this whatsoever. After the game, Lillard revealed that it was the right decision to defer to Middleton. In fact, it was Dame who dropped the pass to Middleton before the latter hit an insane fade-away jumper to beat the shot clock.
“I knew (Khris) would at least have a step on (his defender) and the guy was on him, he almost hit the ball,” Lillard said, via Eric Nehm of The Athletic. “I haven’t been on his team to see it, but I’ve seen it just watching games and I know he’s comfortable in those situations. I know he’s a gamer. So, once I saw him coming open, I knew that was the shot we were going to get. I just wanted to make sure I could get it to him, and he ran through the pass and hit a tough shot. That’s what good players do.”
Khris Middleton beats the shot clock buzzer with a CLUTCH fadeaway bucket 🤯pic.twitter.com/xco9P1ZyNb
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) November 29, 2023
As Dame said, he might not have had enough time playing alongside Middleton to know his game completely. However, what Lillard has no doubt of is that Middleton is a clutch player who steps it up when it matters the most.
Tuesday’s heroics are a clear testament to this fact.
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