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Is This NBA Eastern Conference Team Poised To Disappoint?

The Bucks made a massive splash by acquiring Damian Lillard a few months back, and so far they've had their ups and downs. Which raises the question, is Milwaukee going to peak at the right time or are they poised to have a disappointing exit?


Defense Is A Massive Issue

When The Bucks initially traded Jrue Holiday and other assets for Damian Lillard, there was a consensus that the Bucks' defense was going to decline. However, not by as big of a margin as we've seen this season. Last year, led by the elite perimeter defense of Jrue Holiday, Milwaukee was a top-five overall defense. This year, the Bucks are 21st in defensive efficiency.



Even with Jrue, the Bucks lacked players who could guard the opposing team's wings, and they made that aspect of their defense even weaker. Giannis is best as a help defender, and while Brook Lopez is a fantastic rim protector, the Bucks are too reliant on him to make up for the weak perimeter defense. 


The Bucks and Celtics are likely going to need to go through each other to represent the Eastern Conference in the finals, and while they do have the best player in that series in Giannis, the roster construction of the Bucks makes Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown an even tougher cover than they are. 


Can The Bucks Get A Consistent Dame?


Damian Lillard has had his elite playoff moments and can be trusted in the playoffs, but so far Damian Lillard as the second option has shown some inconsistency. Damian Lillard is an alpha-type player, and he's been slightly underwhelming this season.


With Khris Middleton struggling this year only averaging 12 points, Damian Lillard producing enough to support Giannis becomes even more important. Damian Lillard needs to show more consistency.


Dame is averaging 24 points off of 41% from the field and 35% from three. While this is still good production, Dame needs to be more efficient for the Bucks to become a championship team. While it's still early into the season, the Bucks do need to improve by a recognizable clip to be the last team standing this year.



 

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