Milwaukee Bucks news: One man who knows Damian Lillard well is CJ McCollum. Together, these two wreaked havoc on the NBA for many years. That was until the Portland Trail Blazers decided to ship McCollum off to the New Orleans Pelicans last year.
Either way, McCollum is well aware of what Dame brings to the table, and the former Most Improved Player of the NBA has already come out with his bold prediction for the new-found Lillard and Giannis Antetokounmpo partnership in Milwaukee.
CJ McCollum Predicts Eastern Conference Finals Trip for Milwaukee Bucks
Speaking in an interview shortly after Lillard’s blockbuster move to the Bucks, McCollum shared his honest thoughts on the landscape-shifting trade. The Pelicans sharpshooter acknowledged how much potential this team has, but at the same time, McCollum believes that there are still a lot of things they will need to figure out.
“On paper, they look great, right?” McCollum said. “Obviously, the depth, figuring out back up point guard, figuring out rotations, they got a lot to kinda tweak. New coach and all of those things.”
Be that as it may, the 6-foot-3 shooting guard is confident that a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals is well within reach for the Bucks this season:
“You got two of the greatest players (to) ever play the game, you always have a chance,” he continued. “I think they’ll make a run st some point. Camaraderie has to be there. They got to get the team chemistry and cohesiveness together. But the East is a beast, man. Boston, Miami, Sixers — there’s a lot of good teams out there. But healthy Giannis and Dame, I say Eastern Conference Finals at a minimum.”
Some folks might say that McCollum’s expectations for Milwaukee are actually a bit too low. After all that they’ve done this summer, it’s hard to deny that it’s championship or bust for the Bucks this year.
McCollum touched on a very important aspect in his statement above. At the end of the day, it’s all about health. Both Antetokounmpo and Lillard have had their fair share of injuries through the years, and the fact of the matter is that neither of them are spring chickens.
As McCollum said, he’s had to deal with this same issue with the Pelicans, and this could be a real problem for Milwaukee as well:
“I need to see body of work because they’re very good, obviously, but health matters,” McCollum said. “Look at us in New Orleans. You gotta be healthy.”
"On paper they look great… But the East is a beast… Healthy Giannis and [Damian Lillard], I say Eastern Conference Finals at a minimum."
CJ McCollum on the Bucks' ceiling heading into this season. Do you agree? 🤔
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) September 29, 2023
However, so long as Giannis and Lillard are able to remain on the floor for the majority of the season and more importantly, in the playoffs, then it would be foolish to count them out from winning a chip in their first season together.
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