3 Biggest X-factors for Milwaukee Bucks in series against Indiana Pacers

Milwaukee Bucks v Indiana Pacers
Milwaukee Bucks v Indiana Pacers / Andy Lyons/GettyImages
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Damian Lillard's production

With Giannis Antetokounmpo likely to miss some time, more pressure will fall onto the shoulders of Damian Lillard. Despite the playoffs nearing, Lillard still has failed to establish a groove this season, stringing together inconsistent performances. If that carries over into the postseason, it could spell doom for the shorthanded Milwaukee Bucks.

In eight games without Giannis this season, Lillard has upped his production, averaging 29.9 points, 7.6 assists and 4.3 rebounds per performance, according to StatMuse. The Milwaukee Bucks need those types of numbers, if not even better ones, from Lillard in this series to stay afloat if Giannis is going to miss some amount of time.

If Lillard comes out of the gates struggling like he did against the Orlando Magic in Milwaukee's final regular season game, the Bucks will be in immediate trouble. Khris Middleton is not exempt here, but the most pressure will fall on Lillard, who is the clear superstar. With no Giannis, Lillard will take the reigns on offense completely, flashing back to his Portland Trail Blazers playing days.

Even if and when Antetokounmpo returns, the Bucks still need Lillard's production to down this pesky Indiana Pacers team. When Lillard shoots above 50 percent this season, Milwaukee is 24-2. When he scores 30 or more, the Bucks are 17-3. The Milwaukee Bucks need these types of performances from their star guard to give them the best chance of winning.

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