"I haven't even gotten started" - Damian Lillard makes bold claim ahead of NBA In Season Tournament semi-finals
Damian Lillard and the Milwaukee Bucks are not running away with the NBA title, as some predicted in the offseason. At least not yet. Lillard and the Bucks seem to be heating up. In their last outing, they dominated the New York Knicks to advance to the semifinals of the In-Season Tournament.
The Bucks are gunning for the inaugural title and are two games away. They sit in second place in the East. They have won eight of their past ten games.
Lillard thinks the team can reach even greater heights. He thinks his production can find another level.
“The scariest thing is that we’re [15-6] right now, and we’re trying to figure it all out. And I haven't even gotten started, bro. I promise you,” Damian Lillard said.
Are the Bucks and Damian Lillard ready to take off?
Damian Lillard is averaging 25.6 points per game. That is well below his 32.2 average from last season. He has only eclipsed the 30-point mark six times this season. There seems to be room for Lillard to increase his numbers.
Damian Lillard is shooting just 43.6 percent from the field and 35.2 from 3-point range. Lillard’s numbers from deep have dropped a bit later in his career, but he still hit 37 percent of his threes last season.
Khris Middleton also has plenty of room to step up. He is averaging just 11.9 points per game. The Bucks would like to see a bit more from the former All-Star as they continue to develop offensive chemistry.
The Bucks' somewhat shaky start seems far behind them. They won ten of their last 12. They are averaging 127.3 ppg during that span.
That was the second-best in the league during that span, only trailing the high-flying Indiana Pacers. The two face off in the semifinals of the In-Season tournament.
It could be scary for the East if this is just the beginning for the Bucks. The Boston Celtics have been the best team in the East so far.
The Bucks could surpass them if they find the next level Lillard teased. The Celtics have taken a slight step back with the absence of Kristaps Porzingis. However, he has returned to practice and is expected to return soon.
The Bucks will have their work cut out for them following their weekend in Las Vegas. Only three of Milwaukee’s next ten games following the In-Season tournament are against teams currently in the lottery. They have four games against the Orlando Magic, Indiana Pacers and New York Knicks, who are all in the top six of the conference.