It is hard to recall a time when a Milwaukee Bucks preseason game received as much hype as their most recent contest against the Los Angeles Lakers. Of course, this is entirely due to the fact that the Bucks’ matchup with the Lakers marked the preseason debuts of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard, suiting up for the first time as teammates on a NBA roster (they were teammates on previous All-Star teams).
While the Bucks were not playing at full strength (Khris Middleton remained out), having Giannis and Lillard on the court gave fans a glimpse of just how dominant this team can be. From pick-and-roll excitement to high-flying dunks, Milwaukee’s new dynamic duo gave fans a great deal to be excited about.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard Debut for the Milwaukee Bucks
Giannis played just 15 minutes, but was his usual dominant self during that time on the court. He scored 16 points on 7/10 shooting (1/1 from three and 1/1 from the free throw line) while hauling down eight rebounds and handing out on assist. He also added two blocks.
Lillard took a few minutes to get going, but ended up with 14 points on 3/10 shooting (2/7 from three and 6/6 from the free throw line), three rebounds, and two assists. He also added three steals.
Lillard played 22 minutes, but was pulled from the game midway through the third quarter.
Milwaukee Bucks Fans React to Seeing Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard on the Court
While is just a small sample, fans have been waiting for a long time to see Giannis take the court with another superstar. From the moment the game started, fans expressed their excitement on social media:
back to back threes from giannis and dame 👀 pic.twitter.com/LTsPoEi3jv
— sydney fink (@sydn3yfink) October 15, 2023
Giannis- Dame PNR is literally unstoppable. Wide open looks everywhere pic.twitter.com/7IwaXk9OPq
— ᴅ ʀ ᴇ ᴡ (@FeelLikeDrew) October 15, 2023
The first Dame to Giannis lob
— GiannisMuse 🦌 (@GiannisMuse) October 15, 2023
Lakers hedging the Dame/Giannis PnR. Dame making the right play finding Giannis in the short roll which has resulted in a dunk and a wide open 3PA for Crowder. pic.twitter.com/cPsEBobEfv
— Jake Reetz (@jajareetz) October 15, 2023
We’re only like 6 minutes into Dame’s Buck era so there can be no real takeaways yet but it’s nice to have another player you can feel confident about at the FT line. Also it’s going to be hell for teams to guard the Giannis Dame combo.
— 🦌 (@SnellSZN) October 15, 2023
Oh you’re going to full-court press Dame? The Bucks rush the ball up the court to Giannis on the elbow for a 1 on 1 with no help defense yet in the paint. Love that
— Ti Windisch (@TiWindisch) October 15, 2023
This…. This is the example of how dangerous the P&R will be with these two. It’s never about who’s going to guard Dame or Giannis but wtf do you do with the wide open guys out on the 3 point line https://t.co/bPrxY8V2hn
— Taylor in Franklin (@tfromfranklin) October 16, 2023
As fans could see during the game, the key to Milwaukee’s success is going to be the ability of their role players to hit wide open three point shots. Giannis and Dame’s pick-and-roll is incredibly difficult to defend. In the event that teams stop both of them on the play, there will be wide open shooters all over the court.