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Pegging The Situation As ‘Right’, Damian Lillard Claims Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Absence Led To Him Being More Assertive In Bucks Win

Samir Mehdi
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Pegging The Situation As 'Right', Damian Lillard Claims Giannis Antetokounmpo's Absence Led To Him Being More Assertive In Bucks Win

Damian Lillard had himself a night for the Milwaukee Bucks in their bout against the Chicago Bulls. The Trailblazer great dropped 37 points on 9-18 shooting from the field while dishing out 13 assists as well. The efficiency didn’t stop there as he was a near perfect 15-16 from the charity stripe, further adding to just how ludicrous his stat-line was. When asked about his night, Dame credited his assertiveness from the get-go.

“The situation just was right for it. Giannis not playing, I knew I would have more responsibility, I knew I would have to be more aggressive and kind of assert myself from the playmaking and scoring standpoint. From the tip I wanted to assert myself in that way.”

Giannis Antetokounmpo was out tonight due to a calf injury. This was Dame’s first game back from dealing with right calf soreness and he looked like the version of himself that Bucks fans were yearning to witness.

Malik Beasley was also an incredible plus tonight as he dropped a ‘casual’ 30 points on 11-14 shooting from the field. Lillard’s ability to find him around the arc was certainly what led to the Bucks inching away from a disassociated Bulls squad.

Damian Lillard needs to play this way with Giannis in the fold

Giannis dropped 54 points with Dame sidelined. Dame dropped 37 and 13 with Giannis sidelined. The growing pattern between the two Top 75 players has been them stifling defenses with the other out of action.

Adrian Griffin hasn’t stepped up to the plate when it comes to employing reliable Dame-Giannis offensive schemes. His job gets easier when one of the two are out because the lone superstar takes the reins and orchestrates the offense in the way he wants.

Talking about how the ‘Greek Freak’ and Lillard need to run more high screen PnRs is the basketball analysis version of beating a dead horse. That however, doesn’t mean it’s not true. It’s quite easily the simplest offensive set to play and yet them running it has been a scarce sight. Horns action at the top of the key was promising and effective and yet it hasn’t seen much daylight either.

Tonight’s game saw Lillard draw an incredible amount of attention in the paint on his drives, leading to easy kickouts. Having him pressure the rim along with the perimeter is going to be deadly, especially with Giannis coming back.

About the author

Samir Mehdi

Samir Mehdi

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Samir Mehdi is a senior strategist for the NBA division at The Sportsrush. Ever since he was 13 years old, he’s been obsessed with the game of basketball. From watching Kobe Bryant’s highlights on YouTube to now, analyzing and breaking down every single game on League Pass, Samir’s passion for the game is unwavering. He's a complete basketball junkie who not only breaks down current games but also keenly watches ones from the 60s’ and 70s’ while also reading comprehensive books on the history of the league. Samir’s life revolves around basketball and he hopes that shows in his work. Aside from work, he loves to spend time in the gym and with his friends at social gatherings.

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