Way #3: Lillard will help the Bucks solve their “clutch problem”
There was a serious clutch problem with the Milwaukee Bucks. While they ranked 4th and 6th in defense and offense respectively in the past season, the playoffs were an entirely different story.
Granted, this is just from a 5 game sample, but hold on to your hat: the Bucks were ranked 15 out of 16 playoff teams in defense last playoff run. Clearly, Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra’s Miami Heat did something historic in their run to the finals. But the Bucks split the in-season games with the Heat: they can and have beat that exact same time.
Damian Lillard was the third most clutch NBA player last season, according the NBA.com’s clutch statistical analysis. Giannis was 5th. The difference in impact, though, is the charity stripe. Giannis Antetokounmpo cannot hit free throws. He shot 64.5% from the free throw line last year, far below the league average of 78.2%. For a superstar who does all of his damage in the paint, all opposing teams have to do is foul in the clutch minutes.
In walks Lillard, with his gaudy 89.5% free-throw line average. That’s good for 3rd best last season, but is also good for a ridiculous 4th best of all time! Damian Lillard solves the clutch problem effectively. Dame will also draw defenders away from Kris Middleton on the perimeter, creating a pick-your-poison, lose-lose situation for any opposing team.
Speaking of match-ups, here’s the next best reason Lillard will help these Bucks…