Following the Portland Trail Blazers loss at the LA Clippers, Damian Lillard sounded off on NBA officiating. Lillard attempted just one free throw in the game, despite feeling he was fouled multiple times.
“The way the game is being officiated is unacceptable. I don’t want to go too deep into it so they make a big deal out of it, but the explanations that’s getting missed, I mean, come on,” Lillard said. “I felt like coming in, the rule change wouldn’t affect me, because I don’t do the trick the referees. I don’t do the trick plays. It’s just unacceptable.”
Lillard is one of several players, including James Harden, Trae Young and Jayson Tatum, who have had issues with the way the NBA is enforcing foul-drawing this season. In attempt to crack down on players parading to the free throw line, the NBA changed the way they would call fouls where the offensive player initiates contact.
For Lillard, these changes, in part, have resulted in him averaging 19.3 points per game. That’s the lowest mark since Lillard’s rookie season. The Blazers star is also shooting a career-worst 36.5% overall and 25.5% on three-pointers. In addition, Lillard is averaging the fewest free throw attempts of his career at 3.2 freebies per game.