The Bucks stunned the NBA world on Wednesday by acquiring point guard Damian Lillard in a three-team trade, ending the biggest saga of the NBA offseason. Lillard, who requested a trade from Portland after the season, reportedly preferred to go to the Heat, but will team up with Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Milwaukee’s new big three of Lillard, Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton establish a powerful squad in the Eastern Conference, and they won’t have to wait long to face tests. The Bucks open the season hosting the season at home vs. the 76ers on Thursday, Oct. 26, which will be broadcasted as part of a TNT double-header that also includes a game between the Suns and Lakers.
Then after a game vs. Atlanta, Milwaukee host Miami for Lillard’s first game vs. the team he originally preferred. Later in the season, the Bucks first game in Miami will take place on Nov. 28, which will also be a TNT game. The two sides will play one other time in the season, a matchup in Milwaukee in February.
Finally, as part of the NBA’s new midseason tournament, the Bucks and Heat are in the same mid-season tournament group, with the second game in Miami counting towards the league’s new venture.
Additionally, Lillard’s first game back in Portland will take place on January 31, and the Bucks will travel to New York to play the Knicks on Christmas Day.