The arrival of Damian Lillard will require some major adjustments from the Milwaukee Bucks. Giannis Antetokounmpo will be at the center of it all now that the former back-to-back MVP gets to play with a superstar of Dame’s caliber for the first time in his career.
Instead of shying away from this notion, however, Antetokounmpo himself has revealed that the Bucks are actually embracing it.
Milwaukee Bucks Are Changing Their Identity
Both Giannis and Lillard have already come out to say that they expect each other to be the same player now that they’re on the same team. Antetokounmpo wants Dame to be Dame, while Lillard feels exactly the same way about the Bucks talisman.
Be that as it may, Giannis knows that his team will need to enter the new season with a renewed mindset:
“The way we approach training camp and the way we approach practice so far has been incredible because we are literally changing our identity,” Antetokounmpo said, via Jim Owzcarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “We’re being a little bit more scrappy. We will help one another.”
This isn’t all about the summer arrival of Lillard, though. The Bucks have failed to reach their lofty objectives for the past couple of seasons, which means that there’s something wrong. Change is never easy, especially if you’ve become accustomed to doing things a certain way. However, this is the challenge Antetokounmpo and his team are facing heading into the new season.
Milwaukee Bucks Looking to Upgrade
Defense has been one of the most important aspects behind Milwaukee’s success through the years, and Giannis wants to make sure that they don’t forget about this fact. What he wants, however, is for his team to take it to another level in 2023-24:
“Obviously, we’ve been one of the best defensive teams in the league the last five years, so it’s not that you gotta come here and you change a lot of things, but I feel like, you just got to sharpen the tool, you gotta add more edge to the team,” he said.
You have to note, though, that the departure of Jrue Holiday will have a significant impact on the Bucks on the defensive end. Not only is he one of the best defenders in the NBA today, but the fact that Lillard isn’t exactly known for his defensive prowess means that Giannis and the rest of the squad will need to work extra hard to compensate for Lillard’s shortcomings on defense.
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