Ultimately, the Milwaukee Bucks failed to reach their goal of winning the NBA In-Season Tournament. This was the case for them after they suffered a 128-119 loss to the Indiana Pacers in the semifinal on Thursday.
Be that as it may, there’s no denying that the league’s first stab at this unprecedented initiative has been a smashing success. Just ask Damian Lillard.
Milwaukee Bucks Star Damian Lillard Speaks Out on IST
The Bucks made it all the way to Las Vegas. This is after they won all four of their group-stage games to emerge as the undefeated winners of East Group B. Milwaukee then went on to defeat the New York Knicks in the quarterfinal to book their spot in Vegas in the semis.
Even before the Bucks played their game in Sin City, superstar point guard Damian Lillard had nothing but good things to say about the IST:
“It gives that excitement and that different level of competition and care that you don’t usually get in December in an NBA season,” Lillard said after the team arrived in Las Vegas, via Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I think it’s doing what it’s supposed to do. A lot of teams who probably didn’t appreciate it in the first one or two In-Season Tournament games are probably wishing like, man, we should have took this a little more serious for this opportunity.”
I don’t think Dame’s view of the tournament changed after the Bucks lost to the Pacers in the semifinal. They may have not reached the pinnacle to get a shot at the NBA Cup, but it was an undeniably excellent experience for the Bucks.
The fact that they went 5-1 throughout the tournament is also nice considering how it counts against their regular-season standing.
The Bucks are currently tied with the Orlando Magic for the second spot in the East at 15-7. They return to action on Monday against the Chicago Bulls.
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