There weren’t too many surprises from the Milwaukee Bucks’ preseason win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday. We all knew coming in that Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard were going to make their respective preseason debuts, and they pretty much did on the court what everybody expected them to, which is to dominate.
Giannis Antetokounmpo Surprised by Damian Lillard’s Milwaukee Bucks Debut
Giannis spoke to reporters after the game and naturally, he had more than a few things to say about his new running mate’s first game as a Buck. One thing, in particular, stood out for the former back-to-back MVP. According to Antetokounmpo, he totally did not expect the Lakers to blitz Lillard from the get-go:
“I’ve been with the Bucks, this is my 11th season,” Giannis said. “I’ve never seen from the first play of the game, somebody being double-teamed. It was a surprise. It’s a preseason game. It’s not a playoff game. It’s not a regular-season game. It’s not an in-season tournament game or a play-in game. It’s a preseason game.”
Not even Giannis himself has been double-teamed in literally the first sequence of a preseason game, so he was definitely taken aback by LA’s strategy against Dame.
This just goes to show how much attention Lillard is going to require on offense which naturally, will open up the floor more for Antetokounmpo.
Antetokounmpo Wants to Return the Favor
The Bucks brought Lillard in for a reason, and ultimately, that’s to help them win a championship. Giannis has already realized that life is going to be a bit easier for him now that Dame is in the picture. At the same time, though, he also wants to do the same for the former Portland Trail Blazers superstar:
“He’s a threat,” Giannis said. “Like, coming down from halfcourt he’s already a threat. I’ve never played with a guy like that. I hope I can make the game easy for him as much as he makes it easy for me and our team.”
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) October 16, 2023
You can’t overlook the bit about Giannis saying that he’s never had the chance to play with a guy like Lillard. This isn’t a knock on any of his former or current teammates. Not at all. As a matter of fact, even the likes of Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton themselves would probably agree with this notion.
Simply put, Dame is one of one.
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