Here’s a thing that shouldn’t be a thing at all: Damian Lillard has a problem with Chris Paul taking a free layup towards the end of Wednesday night’s Rockets-Blazers game.
As you can see above, the game was already lost for the Blazers when Chris jogged down the court to see no defenders in his path — he took the free bucket. Not really a big deal. However, Dame clearly had some emotional feelings watching it unfold given the salty failed swipe he took at the ball.
He proceeded to talk about “sportsmanship” and “respect” postgame (via The Oregonian):
“I just asked him, I said, ‘What did you get out of that?'” Lillard said. “He said, ‘Y’all wasn’t guarding.’ But we got back. There was two guys back. We got back. He was sprinting the court to get the layup and CJ (McCollum) was chasing him. I just felt like in that situation, if you’ve got to do that to go get the layup, what’s the point of it?”
“I think as far as sportsmanship goes and respect, if the roles were reversed, I don’t think they would like it,” Lillard said. “They had two guys up the floor. I think (Shabazz Napier) ran back, I ran back for that reason … we get two guys back and he pretty much sprinted down the court to get the layup. CJ was chasing him. At that point, you just wonder, like, what is that going to do for you? What was you trying to get right there? And that’s what I asked him.”
How about that spinzone? Here’s the fact check:
1. Chris was running at like half speed
2. CJ McCollum being five steps behind is equivalent to “chasing”? Okay.
3. Did McCollum not make his own pointless basket on the possession prior? Should the Rockets be salty about that?
Sounds like someone who’s pissed about Chris lighting his ass up again (37 points, 11 assists, 7 rebounds, 3 steals).
Fun Fact: The Blazers have lost eight regular season games in a row to Chris Paul-led teams dating back to the 2015 season. They did beat Chris’ Clippers in the postseason (2016), but you might remember that was because Chris and Blake Griffin suffered fluke injuries during Game 4 and missed the rest of the series. The Blazers barely survived one-eyed Austin Rivers in Game 6.