Bucks' Antetokounmpo, Lillard to debut as teammates vs. Lakers

ByJamal Collier ESPN logo
Thursday, October 12, 2023

Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard will both play Sunday night against the Los Angeles Lakers at Crypto.com Arena, Milwaukee Bucks coach Adrian Griffin announced Wednesday on "NBA Today."

Antetokounmpo and Lillard sat out the team's first two preseason games but will suit up for a star-studded matchup against the Lakers' star duo of Anthony Davis and LeBron James.

"We want to see them out there in live competitive play," Griffin said Wednesday on "NBA Today." "It's an exciting time for us, but it's a process and we're taking it step by step."

The Bucks acquired Lillard in a blockbuster trade from the Portland Trail Blazers one week before training camp but have eased their stars into action during the exhibition season.

Khris Middleton, who was limited to 33 games last season because of injuries but signed a new three-year deal during the offseason, has still not played during the preseason and has not been a full participant at practice. Griffin did not provide clarity on Middleton's status for Sunday's game.

Although they have yet to appear in games, Antetokounmpo, a two-time MVP, and Lillard, a nine-time All-NBA player, have both practiced together. It's the first time in either player's career they will play alongside another superstar, a pairing that is exciting for Milwaukee, even though Griffin anticipates there will be a learning curve.

"Our practices are extremely competitive, so we've had the chance to match them up," Griffin said. "They haven't disappointed. The more we can get them playing together, the better."

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