After a wild amount of hype, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard played their first game together as Bucks in a preseason matchup against the Lakers.
Lillard also got to experience his first win with the team, as they celebrated a 108-97 victory over a LeBronless LA.
Giannis was full of praise for Milwaukee’s new guard after the game and was impressed with his impact straight from tipoff.
“He’s a threat, like … coming down from half court, he’s already a threat, and I’ve never played with a guy like that,” Antetokounmpo said. “I hope I can make the game easy for him, as much as he makes it easier for me and for our team.
“I’ve been with the Bucks for, this is my 11th season I’ve never seen from the first play of the game, somebody being double-teamed. It was a surprise. It’s a preseason game. It’s not a playoff game. It’s not a regular season game. It’s not an in-season tournament game, you know? … It’s a preseason game.”
Giannis finished the night with a team-high of 16 points, to go with one assist and eight rebounds in just 15 minutes of playing time.
While Lillard was admittedly a little rusty on his long range shooting, after three of his ten attempts from the field were successful.
The duo looked good together, especially when Lillard was able to get a pass away to the Greek superstar.
The two-time MVP acknowledged that the partnership may not be an overnight success but when games matter, he is determined for things to work.
“It might take a month, two months, six months, it doesn’t matter,” Giannis said. “We might figure it out in the last game of the regular season. The goal is to be where we want to be when it matters the most.”
It seems there is also a very high level of respect, as well as understanding between Giannis and Dame.
“He’s so quiet, doesn’t say much,” Antetokounmpo said of Lillard. “He’s like a little version of me, a guard version. You know, just, quiet, goes about his business, takes care of his family, shows up and practices really hard. When he needs to be vocal, he’s vocal.”
Giannis also added that he’s “never been this open” and has already “learned so much” from 33-year-old Lillard.
Can’t wait to see some more ‘Freak Time’ on the court when the Bucks play their season opener against Philly in Milwaukee.