Milwaukee Bucks' Damian Lillard (0) shoots against New York Knicks'...

Milwaukee Bucks' Damian Lillard (0) shoots against New York Knicks' OG Anunoby during the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, April 7, 2024, in Milwaukee. Credit: AP/Aaron Gash

MILWAUKEE — Damian Lillard took a small step forward Wednesday in his bid to be ready for the start of the Milwaukee Bucks' Eastern Conference first-round playoff series with the Indiana Pacers.

Bucks coach Doc Rivers said Lillard got back on the practice floor and did some shooting and “all of the walk-through stuff." Lillard hadn't practiced on Tuesday after a sore left adductor bothered him the final weekend of the regular season.

The Bucks have Thursday off as they get ready for Game 1 of their playoff series Sunday at Milwaukee. Rivers expressed optimism that Lillard would be able to practice more fully on Friday.

Rivers did note that he also had expected the seven-time all-NBA guard to practice Tuesday before medical staff decided against it.

“I’m assuming,” Rivers said. “I would be surprised (if he doesn’t practice). I’ll put it that way.”

Lillard sat out a loss at Oklahoma City on Friday due to the injury. He returned two days later, but shot just 2 of 14 from the floor when the Bucks ended the regular season with a loss at Orlando.

The Bucks could be needing Lillard more than ever because of the likelihood that two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo won’t be ready for the start of the series. Antetokounmpo missed the Bucks’ last three regular-season games and hasn’t practiced this week due to a left calf strain, though the Bucks haven’t given any updates about his potential availability for the playoffs.

Milwaukee Bucks' Damian Lillard, center, drives to the basket between...

Milwaukee Bucks' Damian Lillard, center, drives to the basket between New York Knicks' OG Anunoby, left, and Donte DiVincenzo, right, during the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, April 7, 2024, in Milwaukee. Credit: AP/Aaron Gash

Reserve guard AJ Green also hasn’t practiced this week because of a sprained left ankle that caused him to sit out the Bucks’ final two regular-season games.

The Bucks went 1-8 in the nine games Lillard missed during the regular season.

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