What happened to Damian Lillard? Bucks Guard’s Unforeseen Absence vs Suns Raises Concern

Published 02/06/2024, 9:28 PM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

Returning from a grueling 7-game road trip, the Phoenix Suns are gearing up to face the Milwaukee Bucks. The Suns experienced a surprising loss to the Atlanta Hawks and bounced back with a commanding victory over the Washington Wizards in previous games. Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Bucks also hold a 1-1 record in their last two games. As both teams clash in their second-to-last encounter of the season series, the Suns catch a stroke of luck—the Bucks will be playing shorthanded – without Damian Lillard and Brook Lopez.

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Damian Lillard, initially listed as probable on the injury report, has now been ruled out of the game due to lingering ankle issues. With Lillard, Brook Lopez will also sit out the game due to personal reasons.

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This marks Damian Lillard’s first absence from a game since early January. In the three matchups without Lillard, the Bucks have faced adversity, securing zero victories. Moreover, this is Brook’s third consecutive miss after previously playing in every Bucks matchup. In contrast, the Suns enter the game in full health, boasting a remarkable record with 10 wins in their last 13 outings and maintaining an unbeaten streak at home since January 8th.

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The Bucks are currently navigating the process of building cohesion under their new head coach, Doc Rivers. However, the team has struggled to find success, clinching only one win out of four games under Rivers’ leadership. With Lillard and Lopez sidelined and the Suns showcasing their complete array of talents, the impending game poses a formidable challenge for the Bucks. However, for Rivers, a new feat awaits, just within days of resuming his coaching career.

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Doc Rivers will be East All-Star’s head coach

Securing a single win was all it took for Rivers to snag the exclusive ticket to the upcoming All-Star game. The Bucks’ impressive 129-117 triumph over the Dallas Mavericks ensured that Rivers and his staff would have the honor of coaching the Eastern Conference All-Stars in Indianapolis.

Even before speculations about Rivers not earning the honor could begin, Doc took the opportunity to clear the air. He claimed his intention to give his All-Star ring and bonus to Adrian Griffin, the head coach of the Bucks for the first half of the season.

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Watch This Story – Presenting the Teams Who Are Yet To Taste the Glory of World Series

As the coaches were being named, the Boston Celtics had the best record in the East. However, their coach, Joe Mazzulla, had already coached in the All-Star Game last year, rendering him ineligible for the current season. This circumstance paved the way for Rivers to step in, as the Bucks held the next-best record.

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Written by:

Saahil Dhillan

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“Places you go in life – it opens your eyes up and you kind of understand who you are.” - This is my philosophy in life. I want to go to innumerable places and get inspired by the people and experiences I come across, just like Dwayne Wade.
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Edited by:

Sameen Nawathe

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