Gauging panic meter on 3 struggling Milwaukee Bucks before NBA Playoffs

Milwaukee Bucks v New Orleans Pelicans
Milwaukee Bucks v New Orleans Pelicans / Chris Graythen/GettyImages
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The Milwaukee Bucks are still trying to find their footing with nine regular seasons left to play before the 2024 NBA Playoffs officially kick off.

Like they have for most of the season, Milwaukee is still trying to establish a consistent identity when they take the court. As they displayed in a recent win over the OKC Thunder, they can take down the best of the best. On other nights, such as a recent double overtime loss to the Los Angeles Lakers without LeBron James, they can also lose to anyone.

Milwaukee's title dreams are certainly still very alive, but if this team wants to reach the mountaintop, they need to iron out these kinks soon; the clock is running out. A big reasons for the team's recent struggles amid a two-game losing streak has been the struggles of several players. Let us break out the panic meter and see just how worried Milwaukee Bucks fans should be.

*The meter will range from 1-10, with one being not worried at all and 10 being extremely concerned.

Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard's transition to Milwaukee has not been as seamless as giddy Bucks fans envisioned when the trade went down. In addition to adjusting to playing elsewhere for the first time in his career, he's dealing with off-the-court difficulties that may be impacting his mental well-being. With all of that taken into account, it's been a down year for the guard in the eyes of many.

Lillard's struggles have been amplified over these last three games. In this span, he's averaging just 19.3 points while shooting 36.8 percent from the floor and 32 percent from the floor. The guard has struggled mightily to get anything to drop during this run, which has been a significant factor in the Bucks' two-game losing skid. He simply hasn't looked like himself.

It is time to panic about Lillard? No. Prior to these three games, Lillard averaged 31 points while hitting 51.6 percent of his field goals and 51.7 percent of his 3-point shots over the three games before that. That stretch showed that he undoubtedly still has what it takes to dominate at a high level and be the Damian Lillard the Milwaukee Bucks thought they were getting when they traded for him.

Lillard has already been ruled out of Saturday's game against Atlanta due to personal reasons, which will hinder his ability to get into a groove down the stretch even further. His last six appearances have shown that Lillard is still putting the piece together, and he will only have eight or so games to do so before the playoffs begin.

Lately, he's had both highs and lows. When he's on, the Bucks look nearly unbeatable. When he's off, they look beyond sluggish. At the end of the day, Lillard is still one of the greatest point guards in the NBA today and can will this team to victory any given night. Slight concern about his performance is reasonable for fans, but it's not time for mass pandemonium just yet.

BTBP Panic Meter - 4.5