After the groundbreaking news of Damian Lillard being traded to the Milwaukee Bucks, we can now take a deeper dive into what this acquisition does for the team. Lillard is obviously looking to win now, considering that he’s not getting younger at the age of 33, which lines up perfectly with how the Milwaukee Bucks have been structured over the last few years.
Sure, there are downsides to this deal, one of them being that Jrue Holiday and his defensive presence are no longer on the court. However, the Milwaukee Bucks will quickly find that what Lillard brings to the table is far greater than what Holiday would’ve been able to do if he had stayed on the team.
There are countless benefits to adding Lillard, but there are three specific attributes that he brings to the Milwaukee Bucks that will pay off greatly for the franchise down the road.
3 Key attributes Damian Lillard brings to the Milwaukee Bucks: Scoring
This is the most obvious contribution that Lillard will bring to the Milwaukee Bucks, which will have an immediate impact. The seven-time All-Star is coming off a career-best 32.2 points per game average, which was just the second time he averaged north of 30 points per game in his career.
By adding a second 30-plus point per game scorer alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks’ offense becomes so much harder to guard. Opposing defenses will have to now consider not just Giannis but also Lillard and the threat he poses. This will, in turn, open things up for Giannis, especially with driving lanes, which could enhance the Milwaukee Bucks’ offense even further.
His 32.2 points per game average is the most by a player to change teams the following season, per ESPN stats and Information research. However, it’s more than just pure scoring that Lillard will bring to the Milwaukee Bucks. He’s been an above 90 percent free throw shooter in four seasons during his career and has hovered between 35-40 percent from deep. As a three-level scorer, Lillard will present a major matchup issue with opposing defenses, just like he did in Portland. Not to mention, he’s a player that’s capable of scoring well over 60 points, as he’s done it five different times in his career.
This offensive post by Lillard will greatly outweigh the loss of Holiday’s defense. With players like Giannis, Jae Crowder, Brook Lopez and Bobby Portis, the defense will figure itself out with all of the height and length in the lineup. Being able to bring on a player that has the scoring capabilities that Lillard has is an immediate lift to any team. There will also be no issues between Giannis and Lillard in terms of who gets more shots, as it’s two players with very similar win-first mentalities. The two stars will complement each other greatly with both being able to drive, but Lillard’s shooting expertise will force the defense to spread out, allowing for Giannis to take advantage of driving lanes.
The scoring will be instantly impacted now that the former TrailBlazer is on the Milwaukee Bucks roster. But there’s much more than scoring that he will bring to the Cream City.