“It Was More Simple”: Damian Lillard Claims Pairing with Former All-Star Was ‘Easier’ than Giannis Antetokounmpo

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Damian Lillard‘s transfer to the Milwaukee Bucks within the offseason created sky-high expectations this season. Given Lillard’s effectivity for the Portland Trail Blazers up to now, Dame and Giannis Antetokounmpo had been anticipated to develop into an elite pick-and-roll duo. However, issues haven’t fairly been a fairy story in Milwaukee for the reason that begin of the season. Amid rising tensions concerning the hiring of recent head coach Doc Rivers, Damian Lillard sat down for an interview with Sports Illustrated.

In the interview, Dame revealed that he discovered partaking in performs a lot less complicated and simpler with his former All-Star teammate in Portland, LaMarcus Aldridge. Discussing his pick-and-roll recreation with Aldridge, Lillard revealed that the veteran participant had acknowledged the potential of enjoying off Dame by giving him extra open photographs. As in comparison with Giannis, Aldridge was much less of a ballhandler.

Comparing Antetokounmpo and Aldridge’s enjoying types, Lillard stated, “Giannis is a ballhandler. He will get it. He’s going. He’s attacking. He’s dominant at enjoying in open ground and transition. With L.A. [Aldridge], it was like we performed the pick-and-roll collectively rather a lot as a result of he noticed that, ‘O.Ok., he’s fast. He can get to the rim. He could make threes. He’s going to attract some consideration within the pick-and-roll, and I’m going to get photographs out of this.’ And after I submit up, his man goes to play and provides house as a result of he can shoot. So L.A. being a vet and an All-Star after I acquired there, he form of performed off of me.”


The veteran All-Star would strive discovering gamers who may both get to the rim or make threes of his performs. He would usually additionally strive setting wedge screens for Lillard when he wanted a break, with this changing into the bread and butter for the Trail Blazers. Portland had adopted a definite fashion of play, which helped Lillard perceive his potential and study from a veteran All-Star within the group. Speaking about this expertise, Lillard advised Sports Illustrated, “We simply performed off of one another. But I believe as a result of he wasn’t a ballhandler, it was extra easy.”

Dame Dolla additionally identified that Aldridge’s capturing capabilities spaced the ground for him rather a lot higher. On the opposite hand, his tandem with Giannis remains to be a piece in progress. It can be attention-grabbing to see how Lillard’s feedback fare within the Milwaukee locker room earlier than of the postseason.

Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard have nonetheless not established themselves as a pick-and-roll duo within the NBA

As the pairing between Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard was introduced, many had anticipated a brand new pick-and-roll mixture between the 2 gamers. Though there have been flashes of such performs from the duo, they haven’t been capable of solidify their partnership but within the league.

Damian Lillard had clarified earlier in December 2023 that he and Giannis had been actively engaged on enhancing their pick-and-roll performs with the group. Speaking to Sports Illustrated, Dame had stated, “Myself and Giannis are simply nonetheless making an attempt to determine how we may be in additional actions collectively and benefit from a few of these defenses collectively. So it’s simply going to take time.”

It is price noting that Dame, presently ranked within the high 5 as a pick-and-roll ball handler, will get most of his performs with Brook Lopez, who’s ranked 18th as a roll man. Giannis Antetokounmpo, alternatively, is ranked thirtieth as a roll man, which could clarify why Lillard and the Greek Freak have to work on their performs actively over time.

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