Let’s all disagree with Paul George about Damian Lillard’s ‘bad shot’

Apr 24, 2019, 9:09 AM | Updated: 9:18 am

Maybe it was a post-traumatic stress reaction. Maybe it was denial.

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George had just been eliminated from the playoffs in five games by way of a 37-foot dagger. Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard isolated George with no shot clock on and the score tied Tuesday when he side-stepped the lanky Thunder wing, drilled the three at the buzzer and waved goodbye to Oklahoma City’s bench.

What did George have to say about it?

“That’s a bad, bad shot,” he said while sitting next to renowned bad-shot man Russell Westbrook. “I don’t care what anybody says. That’s a bad shot. But hey, he made it. That story won’t be told that it was a bad shot. We live with that.”

Criticizing that take could be out of context if we don’t mention that George also called Lillard’s game-winner a “tough shot,” and we can go into semantics about whether called it a “bad shot” is any different — or whether George meant any disrespect.

But yeah, we’re going to have to pass on his opinion either way. It’s not bad shot when the intention was exacted as planned — shoot ball on a string into hoop — and the evidence exists that shows the outcome is not unusual.

The rules are a little different for Lillard. According to ESPN’s Kirk Goldsberry, the Blazers star hit 39.2 percent of shots between 30-40 feet this season. Lillard hit a similar shot from 34 feet in the same game and opened the series hitting one from very, very deep.

And so George’s certainty that it was a bad shot is, well, a tad off base. No matter that George contested it well, he didn’t block it. Then the only context that matters is, “Who is taking that shot?”

The internet agrees with this.


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Let’s all disagree with Paul George about Damian Lillard’s ‘bad shot’