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Analysis: Will the Dame-Giannis pairing be successful?

Inside the NBA Superstar Damian Lillard trade to the Milwaukee Bucks
Analysis: Will the Dame-Giannis pairing be successful?

For all of the NBA fans out there, this is a day we’ve been eagerly awaiting. Damian Lillard has been traded. Was it to Miami? No. However, Dame ends up in the Eastern Conference nonetheless. Lillard has joined Giannis Antetokounmpo on the Milwaukee Bucks. Today, we are not here to break down the trade. If you are reading this article, you probably already know the specifics, although those will be briefly touched on. We are here to talk about the pairing of two superstars. A pairing in the echelon of Kobe and Shaq, or Magic and Kareem. Will they be an explosive duo, like Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp? Or will they be fundamentally sound, like Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic? Let’s dive in.

This trade was a three-team trade. We are not here to talk about the third team involved, the Phoenix Suns. Rather, the essence of this trade is that the Portland Trailblazers swap point guards with the Milwaukee Bucks. The Blazers ran away with Jrue Holiday and Deandre Ayton, a promising center from the Suns. In return, the Bucks steal Damian Lillard. Lillard is a sharpshooter, nailing threes from halfcourt. Known for his explosiveness, Lillard is also one of the most clutch players in NBA history. Enter Giannis. Freak of nature. Able to take himself to the rim at will. These two players have been put together, and the only thing that can ensue is chaos.

Historically, Dame will have to adjust his role to more of a playmaker. Giannis already scores enough for the team. With major superstar trades in the past, we’ve seen players like Steve Nash turn themselves into true point guards to pair with the likes of explosive players like Amar’e Stoudemire. Were these sorts of pairings wildly successful? No. Did they work out? Yes. Add in the star power that Dame and Giannis bring, and that strategy is sure to win a championship. 

What if Dame keeps his scoring ability intact and lights the rim up as per usual? Well, let’s look at pairings like this in the past. Bring us back to 2006, when Allen Iverson joined Carmelo Anthony on the Nuggets. Two electric scorers and that didn’t change. This pairing did not work out. They often got in the way of each other on offense. What about Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire on the Knicks? That didn’t work out either, although at this point it’s looking like a ‘Melo problem. There is one superstar scoring pairing that worked out. Kobe and Shaq. None of them were willing to hand over the offense to the other. As a result, they compromised and shared it. Both landing 30 points a night, Kobe and Shaq won three chips together and were forever etched in history.

At this point, I think we have covered the main possibilities for Dame and Giannis. No one knows what will happen, but I think that no matter what, this pair is meant for the stars. I think we should be gearing up to see one of the most deadly pick-and-rolls in NBA history. When Dame gets that screen 5 feet behind the three-point line, the defense won’t know what to do. Guard Dame, so he can’t shoot a three? Guard Giannis, so he can’t catch a lob and slam it home? Or just watch in awe, like the rest of us will be doing as this pair works their magic. So, I leave you with one question. Will the Dame-Giannis pairing be successful? Mamba out.

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About the Contributor
Yash Parikh, Staff Writer
Yash Parikh was part of the first-ever Medea Creek Middle School Journalism Program and became a regular contributor to the Panther Post. His passion for sports journalism has led to a quality and comprehensive NBA podcast and a specialty in sports analysis pieces.
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