Damian Lillard ended the 2019 Trail Blazers-Thunder playoff series with a deep buzzer-beating pull-up 3-pointer over Paul George.
George infamously called it a “bad shot.”
Well, Lillard just showed his range in the All-Star game. He made a pullup 3-pointer from the backcourt then ended the game with a 3-pointer barely inside halfcourt.
That has George – who now plays for the Clippers – signing a different tune about his teammate on LeBron James‘ victorious All-Star team.
I guess I was criticized for the right reason for calling Dame’s shot in the playoffs a bad shot. I mean, I see these guys’ range is crazy, the ability to knock those shots down. And I mean, like you said, it’s not like it’s a half-court heave. These are shots that are in their – it’s well in their range. They probably can shoot it deeper.
It’s a great shot. Two thumbs up.
This is a welcome dose of humility and humor from George, who says too many things that make him sound insufferable.
Context matters when determining shot quality. In Game 5 of the Portland-Oklahoma City series, the score was tied and the shot clock was off. The Trail Blazers correctly prioritized ensuring they got the final shot of regulation, even if that meant an attempt less likely to go through the hoop. Another key consideration:
Lillard is a great shooter with incredible range and complete comfort in the clutch.
That was a good shot. I’m glad George realized it and shared his better understanding.