NBA Preseason Rosters: Bucks vs Bulls – Will Damian Lillard and Giannis Antetokounmpo Play Together for the 1st Time Tonight?

The deer and bull are not natural enemies. A fight erupting between the two is highly unlikely. But, when it comes to the Milwaukee Bucks and the Chicago Bulls, things aren’t exactly easy. The Bulls and the Bucks have reached the playoffs together only five times in the past 30 years. They have faced each other in a playoff series only four times: 1974, 1985, 1990, and most recently 2015.

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At their current winning percentages — .651 for the Bulls, .596 for the Bucks—both teams have a legitimate shot at winning 50 games or more. So, you can see why their relationship is a little more complicated than the usual rivalry between teams. But, on to the most awaited question – will we see the Dame-Giannis duo in the preseason?

Are Lillard and Antetokounmpo appearing on court?


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With the Lillard trade saga going on for almost as long as the trade talks and contract signings, it’s only fair for the fans to expect Giannis and Dame on the court for at least the first quarter. But will they? Won’t they?

The chances of it happening are pretty decent. Giannis had to take time off because of his knee injury. Though he has kept his fans worry-free by posting workout videos, it is obvious they are nowhere near the usual dose of freakiness the fans have come to expect from the “Greek Freak”.

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USA Today via Reuters

On a lighter note though, since this is hosted by the Bucks on their home turf, it would only make sense that the fans are given just a little relief in the form of a Dame-Giannis matchup. Almost like a celebratory unveiling of what everyone hopes to be the next Jordan-Pippen or CurryThompson duo.

A look into the Bulls vs. Bucks history

  • The 1970-74 is termed the Golden Era for many. It holds true for the Bucks and the Bulls as well. Intensely competitive coaches on both sides – Larry Costello for the Bucks and Dick Motta for the Bulls ensured they were prepared for anything. Both teams made the playoffs for five consecutive seasons, the Bucks winning rings in 1971. The rivalry was at an all-time high when they met in the playoffs only in 1974, with Milwaukee making its way to a second Finals appearance with 4-0.
  • The 1985-98 was a powerful era for the Bulls. The arrival of Michael Jordan in 1984 tilted the scales in their favor. And when Scottie Pippen along with Horace Grant, arrived three years later, the Big Three was born. The Chicago Bulls won six championships in eight seasons in the 1990s. During this time, Milwaukee and Chicago met twice in the playoffs. But, it wasn’t the best time for the Bucks. Hall of Famer Jack Sikma retired in 1991, leaving them with not the best roster.
  • 2008 saw Derrick Rose land in the Bulls. Along with Luol Deng and Joakim Noah, Chicago was back in the playoffs. Tom Thibodeau joined the Bulls as a coach in 2010. It was a brilliant time for them until 2012, when Rose suffered an ACL injury.
  • The Bucks, all this while, did what they had to do to stay strong. That is, until 2014, when the Greek Freak joined the Bucks as a skinny, 18-year-old from Greece. The rest is history! 2 MVP trophies, postseason appearances in six of the past seven years and Milwaukee’s second title ever won last summer, 50 years after the first one.

Where do the Bulls and the Bucks stand now?

The Chicago Bulls did not fare well during this time. It was only after executive VP Artūras Karnišovas’ arrival that things started to look up for the team. He hired head coach Billy Donovan, who in turn, got DeMar DeRozan, Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso, and Nikola Vucevic around Zach LaVine and Coby White. The diverse roster looks ready to do some damage. But, as of now, the Bulls are tied down with a lot of injuries.

The Bucks are also on a track of injuries. Brook Lopez had to go into back surgery after the opening night. Fortunately, he is back. Giannis has been resting since his knee surgery and Khris Middleton is on standby until the regular season starts. Eric Nehm of The Athletic tweeted that the Bucks’ coach said “Everyone on the roster, including Khris Middleton, participated in 5-on-5 workout today.


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 Watch This Story: How Long Has Damian Lillard Been in the NBA? Looking at Bucks Gaurd’s NBA Career Ahead of 1st Year Outside of Portland

So, there you go. Both teams are championship material. Both teams have players that can cause havoc. And so, nothing is set in stone. All we can say is stay tuned to know more.

Author: ZeroToHero

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