With his performance during crunch time, Milwaukee's newest addition added a welcome element to his debut, demonstrating why he was acquired.
With less than 90 seconds remaining in the Bucks' 118-117 season-opening win over the 76ers, Milwaukee was reeling after Philly had cut the lead to two. The Bucks had been bogged down in the half court over their last few possessions,
What occurred next was novel: Damian Lillard came to their rescue.When matched up one-on-one with Kelly Oubre Jr., Lillard shunned any possible screeners and instead went to work in isolation,
pulling up for a contested three and sinking it, giving the Bucks a five-point lead en route to their eventual victory.
Lillard scored 39 points, nailed four of his 12 three-point attempts, and went to the free-throw line 17 times in his first regular-season game for Milwaukee. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 23 points while playing second fiddle in clutch time.
Despite scoring 118 points, the Bucks' offense wasn't always sharp on Thursday. Lillard went on a run in the second quarter,
feasting on Philly's backups while Milwaukee ran a high Horns set on multiple possessions in a succession. Otherwise, the half-court attack appeared clumsy at times.
Those expecting a regular diet of Dame-Giannis pick-and-rolls were disappointed, as Milwaukee attempted to incorporate different screeners and other moves.