It's been a roller coaster of a season for the Milwaukee Bucks, but they aim to make a deep run in the playoffs regardless.

The team is facing struggles ahead of their postseason matchup against the Indiana Pacers, as Giannis Antetokounmpo is dealing with injuries and Damian Lillard has problems of his own. Stephen A. Smith has been vocal, and now Lillard indirectly responds to the criticism.

Smith claimed that Lillard's off-court issues are preventing the Bucks from reaching their full potential. That could be true, but there's no way of knowing that for sure. Damian Lillard addressed some of the comments during a press conference, according to Bally Sports Wisconsin.

“In my life and in my basketball career, I've had extremely high moments, and I've had extremely low moments. … I know how to handle both.”

It's well-known that Damian Lillard filed for divorce with his wife back in October 2023. Something like that weighs on every human being. Even NBA superstars.

So it's not a shock at all if Lillard is struggling to juggle both his on- and off-court life right now. But it's hard to believe that Lillard is the sole reason why the Bucks are struggling as a team.

Everything seemed to go south when the front office decided to fire Adrian Griffin as head coach and replace him with Doc Rivers. It was an interesting decision as the Bucks had one of the best records in the league at the time. Now they find themselves as a third seed in the Eastern Conference and facing an uphill battle for a Finals appearance.

Can the Bucks make a deep playoff run?

Damian Lillard
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It's not clear whether Giannis Antetokounmpo will be available for the first round of the NBA Playoffs. There is hope that Damian Lillard will be available, as his current injury doesn't sound as bad as it could have been. Nevertheless, the first round might be the most difficult battle for the Bucks.

Not having Antetokounmpo is a problem as Milwaukee is nearly unbeatable when he's on the court. So if he's not playing this series, the Bucks will have to lean on Damian Lillard. This isn't something new for the superstar point guard, as the Portland Trail Blazers leaned on Lillard for years.

So the Bucks can certainly go on a deep run this postseason. But it really depends on whether Antetokounmpo can bounce back from injury sooner rather than later. Game 1 against the Pacers takes place on Sunday, April 21 at 7:00 P.M. Eastern.