Way #1: Balancing defense with offense
It’s no secret that this Bucks team has been loaded with defense since the beginning of its current era. However, until now, the purest scorer on the team was probably Khris Middleton. Unfortunately, Middleton only played 33 games last season. In the three seasons before that, there were 66, 68, and 62 games, respectively.
Granted, Lillard played 29 games in the 2021–22 season and 67 and 66 in the seasons before. While those are legitimate concerns, keep in mind that Lillard was playing for a directionless franchise, and many of his games were a combination of rest and injury management. Many months later, that strategy helped the Portland Trail Blazers land their hopeful next franchise player in Scoot Henderson.
Regardless, it’s clear that Lillard has been one of the best, if not the best, offensive threats in the NBA for many seasons, excluding Steph Curry. With the addition of Malik Beasley, the Bucks are no doubt going to keep teams honest on their defensive assignments. Lillard will thrive in Milwaukee.
This story will continue to unfold as an extended Cinderella tale: a well-balanced, hardwood classic NBA franchise, up against being the 6th smallest market in the league, securing two of the top five players in the league in their primes.
Don’t be surprised if this team goes on to win it all in the 2023–24 NBA season.