With pressure and Giannis Antetokounmpo’s injury hovering around the Bucks, Damian Lillard dropped a vintage performance in Game 1’s 109-94 win. Is it ‘Dame Time’ again?

Catch the game tomorrow at 8:30 AM, Manila time.

AWAY: Indiana Pacers (0-1)

Projected starting five:

  • Tyrese Haliburton
  • Andrew Nembhard
  • Aaron Nesmith
  • Pascal Siakam
  • Myles Turner

The Pacers came in as the top-ranked offense in the league, along with a 4-1 regular season series win over the Bucks. Things were looking good. But then, they got punched in the mouth early in Game 1 and were seemingly shocked. By the second quarter, they were down 65-35, and it was basically over.

The whole thing is far from “over,” though, obviously. We are still looking at a high-octane offense that has previously punished Milwaukee. Tyrese Haliburton had a quiet night with a triple-single (9 pts, 7 rebs, 8 ast), and while it’s concerning, look for him to be more aggressive tomorrow. He should be able to challenge the defense. Pascal Siakam, who had a game-high 36 on 15-of-25 FGs in the series opener, will be ready again. Stretch big man Myles Turner had an abysmal night with 5-of-17 shooting, and he too should be hungry to redeem himself.

Expect more energy from this fast-paced squad tomorrow. Haliburton, Siakam, Turner, and the rest of the offense, all of which are capable of a big-scoring night, will come out with guns blazing.


HOME: Milwaukee Bucks (1-0)  

Projected starting five:

  • Patrick Beverley
  • Damian Lillard
  • Khris Middleton
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo (day-to-day) / Bobby Portis
  • Brook Lopez

You have to applaud how the team came out in Game 1. They were in a slump at the end of the regular season, critics were hammering their head coach, Doc Rivers, and their best player, Giannis Antetokounmpo, was out with a knee injury. With many expecting a horrific outcome, they instead out-’offensed’ the number one offense in the league, in a blowout no less.

It was all Damian Lillard as he delivered a monster first half, with 35 points and 6 threes, so much so that he wasn’t exactly needed in the third and fourth quarters. They comfortably won despite not scoring in the latter half.

The question now is can Lillard do it again since Giannis is still day-to-day? Even a percentage of that performance will be a big task for a 33-year-old, especially one that has endured injuries and been on a mostly down season. He’s very capable of doing it again, but every other available Buck should be armed and ready too. 

Khris Middleton (23 pts, 10 rebs) and Bobby Portis (15 pts, 11 rebs) both had a double-double this past Monday, and could be eyed for a similar outing. They ought to be assertive and not wait if Lillard will get hot again.


Spread: Pacers (+1.5)

Over/Under: Over (220.5)