Bucks’ Damian Lillard to miss third straight game vs. Grizzlies with gr.o.in injury

Once again, the Bucks will be without their star point guard as they look to try and lock up the 2-seed in the Eastern Conference.

Damian Lillard was paired with Giannis Antetokounmpo last summer to help the Milwaukee Bucks pursue their second title since 2021. With the NBA playoffs just about two weeks away, Lillard and Antetokounmpo have once again put the Bucks near the top of the Eastern Conference standings. However, a recent injury has resulted in Lillard missing a couple of games as Milwaukee looks to close out the season and claim the 2-seed in the conference.

Currently 47-28 on the season, the Bucks enter Wednesday night’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies after suffering a 117-113 loss to the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night, their worst defeat of the season. Without Lillard in this contest, the Bucks were unable to overcome a fourth-quarter deficit despite Giannis’ 35-point triple-double.

Lillard, who popped up on the team’s injury report ahead of Tuesday’s game with a groin injury, is once again on the injury report ahead of Wednesday’s game. In fact, Lillard is going to miss his third straight contest when the Bucks play their second game in as many nights against the Grizzlies.

Damian Lillard injury status vs. Grizzlies

Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
After sitting out against the Wizards, Lillard will once again be on the sidelines when the Bucks take on the Grizzlies. This is certainly not good news for the Bucks simply because of the All-Star’s offensive impact.

Lillard has always been known to be one of the best offensive players in the league. While his numbers have declined in his first season with Milwaukee, the 33-year-old has still been one of the most efficient scorers in the Eastern Conference.

When Lillard plays, good things usually happen for the Bucks. The same cannot be said when he misses games. The Bucks have posted a 1-6 record in seven games without Lillard, including Tuesday’s embarrassing loss to the Wizards.

In total, Lillard has averaged 24.4 points, 7.1 assists, and 4.4 rebounds per game while shooting 35.8 percent from three-point range this season. This is the lowest perimeter shooting percentage of Lillard’s career since he shot just 34.3 percent from deep during the 2014-15 season. Of course, this does not include the 2021-22 season, when he played in only 29 games and shot 32.4 percent from distance.

As the Bucks prepare for their second game in as many nights, it is also worth pointing out that they will be missing more than just Lillard. All-Star wing Khris Middleton and veteran guard Patrick Beverley will also miss Wednesday night’s game against Memphis. Middleton is out due to left ankle injury management, and Beverley suffered a right ankle sprain in the loss to the Wizards.

Antetokounmpo is not on the injury report for the Bucks and will play against the Grizzlies, unless the team decides to hold him out as a late scratch.

With Lillard, Middleton, and Beverley out of the lineup on Wednesday, the Bucks will lean on Pat Connaughton, Bobby Portis, and Jae Crowder the most. It is possible that MarJon Beauchamp and sharpshooter AJ Green will also see more minutes due to the Bucks’ veterans being injured.

Milwaukee currently finds themselves 1.5 games ahead of the Cleveland Cavaliers for the 2-seed in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. A loss to the Grizzlies could push the Bucks into a tight position in the standings, especially if the Cavs pick up a victory over the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday.

Set to miss his third consecutive game, Lillard’s next chance to play will be on Friday night when the Bucks host the Toronto Raptors.

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