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Giannis Reveals Why Damian Lillard’s Post-Trade Season Has Been a Tough Road to Success

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Bucks star Damian Lillard has endured a topsy-turvy debut season in Milwaukee, and Giannis Antetokounmpo drops his take as to why that is.

Giannis Antetokounmpo indirectly put pressure on the Milwaukee Bucks to swing for the fences to try and convince him that the team was serious about competing for a championship to get him to stay and sign a contract extension. As a result, the Bucks traded away Jrue Holiday, a core member of their 2021 championship-winning team, for Damian Lillard in what many believed would be a game-changing move that would propel Milwaukee to the upper-echelon of contenders.

Alas, with only a little over a month to go before the postseason begins, the Bucks haven’t yet maximized the Antetokounmpo-Lillard partnership that looked so good on paper. Simply put, the Greek Freak contends that all good things take time, and the same goes for this partnership — with the pressure to make it work as quickly as possible making it “hard” for everyone involved to ease into things.

“At the end of the day, I don’t feel like we haven’t been doing a good job. Can we get better? Yeah, for sure,” Antetokounmpo told Sam Amick of The Athletic. “Obviously, as you say, me and Dame don’t have that history together. But every single game, we’re getting closer. […] I know what he brings to the table, and he knows what I bring to the table. […] But yeah, it’s a hard season for (Lillard) too.”

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Beyond the many adjustments Damian Lillard has had to make after uprooting his life after spending the first 11 seasons of his career with the Portland Trail Blazers, the Bucks star point guard has had to deal with a plethora of off-court problems as well, including a messy divorce. This, according to Giannis Antetokounmpo, has made life even more difficult for his running mate.

“The off-the-court stuff is hard (for Lillard). But let’s put that on the side. Just being on the court is hard for him. He’s coming out of his comfort zone, playing with a guy like me on a team where guys can make plays. Maybe a lot of time in Portland, he didn’t necessarily have guys who can make as many plays as we can make,” Antetokounmpo added.

Both Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard are under contract for a few more years; so as much pressure as there is for them to win come June, it’s not like this season is title or bust for the Bucks.

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About the Author

Jedd Pagaduan is a certified Clippers and Gunners fan, which means he’s a very sports-traumatized individual. He now writes about sports instead as a form of therapy.

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