3. Does Dame’s defense force an early playoff exit?
Lillard is one of the best point guards in NBA history. There is no knocking the eight-time All-Star’s resume. He made the NBA 75 and has been elite for more than a decade. The only accolade missing is a championship. The Blazers reached the conference finals in 2019 before being swept by the Warriors, which is Dame’s furthest playoff run.
Lillard is an undersized point guard with defensive limitations. Those have gotten worse with age. Can Dame play well enough for the Bucks to win a championship?
This question can only be answered in the playoffs. Damian Lillard will compete hard, but teams will hunt him on defense. Can he hold up? Is his offense so good it doesn’t matter? Lillard is one of the best shooters, scorers, and closers in the league. If Dame is rolling in the playoffs, his subpar defense will be an afterthought as the Bucks make a run.
Portland made the playoffs eight times with Damian Lillard and won just four playoff series. The Bucks were the top-seed last season and bounced in the opening round by the Miami Heat. Does Milwaukee suffer another postseason disappointment? It would not be Lillard’s first and his defense needs to hold up the Bucks' plan on making a deep run.