Damian Lillard of Portland Trail Blazers expresses his displeasure at officiating



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PHILADELPHIA – Damian Lillard found a new place on Wednesday to address his frustration about the Portland Trail Blazers offense and the inconsistent game: The officials.

After the Blazers' lackluster 101-81 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, the two-time All-Star expressed his distaste for dirty calls, or lack thereof, involving him.

Lillard scored 30 points, scoring 11 of 27 field goals, in the loss. But in spite of his great amount of field goals, he tried only three free throws, a fact that left him incredulous when leaving the Wells Fargo Center.

"I got to the hoop a lot," said Lillard. "And they hit me on the head, they hit me the hand that shot me when I went to the basket, the guys are throwing me on the ground on any other play, it's really hard for me, and (the officials) know I'm trying to score. It's impossible for me to shoot two or three free throws, it's impossible, however much I get to the basket and as much as they know I'm trying to score, it's impossible for me to get (trash) beat me as often as I do. "

When asked if there was a clear lack of attention that infuriated him most, Lillard said he did not want to dissect the game play by play. But he said he was repeatedly pushed in the back while jumping for bounces and hacked into him during shots and shots.

Nine of the 27 attempts of Lillard arrived in trays or floats in the lane. But it attracted only two whistles when the Blazers fell to 10-8 on the season.

With 2 minutes, 26 seconds left in the third quarter, Lillard caught one and a foul on Joel Embiid after nailing a 21-foot jumper. Then, with 5:11 left in the game, Lillard committed a foul shot on T.J. McConnell.

And if you think that Lillard just let off steam after a disheartening loss in which the Blazers' offense missed his first 13 shots, he scored his fewest points of the season and threw 33.7 percent from the field, think again. To begin with, Lillard has rarely publicly complained about the trade during his six-year career. In addition, he says that the subject has been bubbling in recent games and has been a topic of discussion between him and an badistant coach of the Blazers.

"We talk about this all the time, where I try to overcome it, difficult and let it not affect my focus and how I'm playing," said Lillard. "But sometimes they're clear situations, where I'm going downhill and they're pushing me in the back, and I'm trying to jump and they're pushing me and hitting my arms, things like that."

"It's frustrating , especially when you are in some situations and want to try to take control of a game and want things to happen in the great moments of the game. And it's even more frustrating because I do not try to make mistakes. I'm trying to score the ball. It's irritating. "

Lillard has attempted 131 free throws this season, the seventh in the NBA, with only James Harden, Anthony Davis, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Dwight Howard, DeMar DeRozan and DeMarcus Cousins ​​having tried more.

He asked if he felt he had earned the right to get the benefit of the doubt from the officials at this stage of his career, Lillard scoffed.He said that a fault is a fault, no matter who you are, and simply wants let the officers do their jobs.

"I do not want to see it like that, I'm this person or I'm like that (so) you're supposed to call these faults," he said. "I think a fault is a foul. I know it's hard. They have a difficult job, man. But I'm not one of these guys trying to sell them on every call … I'm playing to score the ball. I'm not trying to be here hitting the ground on any other play, because that's not what I'm trying to do. I will not be falling out of the air to get two free throws and hit the ground the way I'm hitting the ground. They are hitting me. I do not want to keep doing it. "

After expressing his dissatisfaction, Lillard was aware that his criticism would provoke the wrath of the league office and perhaps result in a fine, but he did not seem to mind. his postgame interview, he turned to CJ McCollum in the adjacent box and offered him the following:

"Go ahead, look at me," he said. "I have the check ready. "

Joe Freeman | [email protected] | 503-294-5183 | @BlazerFreeman

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