Damian Lillard wasn’t nearly as good in his second game as a member of the Bucks as he was in the first. In fact, it’s been a long, long time since Lillard has struggled so mightily.
He finished with just six points on 2-of-12 shooting, committing six turnovers in the process, as Milwaukee was pummeled by the Hawks at home.
“Obviously I didn’t shoot the ball well,” Lillard told reporters, via Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I think it was just a tough game. They were the more aggressive team. They played more physical than we did. Just early season bad game. We didn’t play well at either end of the floor and you got to give them credit for the way they came out.
“They were physical, they were disruptive. I think our offense kind of hurt our defense. They were able to get out (running) while we were off balance from turnovers and us not executing and getting good shots. They started feeling good.”
Lillard’s first basket didn’t come until 3:33 remained in the third quarter. He also went entirely scoreless in the first half. As a team, the Hawks basically did whatever they wanted in getting their first win in three tries.
“Anytime you let a team come in and feel good, especially a desperate team coming in without a win, you let ‘em feel good and they see some shots go on, we not playing a good game, it can get that way,” Lillard said. “Especially early in the season when you’re trying to figure things out, you’re trying to find an identity.
“And I gotta be better when that’s happening. I can’t be the guy turning the ball over. But like I said, it’s a long season, you don’t want to have these types of games but they happen and now we just gotta learn from ‘em. We got another one (Monday vs. Miami).”
Meanwhile, Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo suggested Lillard’s struggles were no big deal.
“I know how good he is and at the end of the day, we need him to keep shooting, we need him to keep on being great,” Antetokounmpo said, via Owczarski. “We have him. Obviously we didn’t win the game but he’s our guy now and at the end of the day we want him to be extra aggressive.”