Damian Lillard made the coldest shot the NBA has seen in years – a buzzer-beating, series-winning, 37-foot pull-up 3-pointer over Paul George.
George called it a “bad shot.”
Lillard on the Pull Up podcast:
It was a good shot.
I think a lot of people don’t know what goes into the moments. That’s because they’re not the ones that’s there. I literally work on those shots. And I don’t work on it so I can just come out and just shoot it for the whole game. I work on it just because, over my career, I know how much attention I’m going to get from defenses. So it’s just like you’re just keeping stuff, adding more things, adding more and more, keeping stuff in your pocket, in case these types of situations do present itself. Even if it’s not something you want to lean on, it’s something that you have there, that you worked on, you spent time doing. So, you’ve got confidence in it when the time does come. That’s why, when I was just standing there, I was like, well, it’s probably not good in a lot of people’s eyes. But I’m comfortable with this, and I’m confident in this. So, to me, it’s a solid shot.
For him to say that’s a bad shot, that’s just kind of being a poor sport. If anything, it was bad defense, because I had the ball in my hands with two seconds, and I wasn’t going to drive, so maybe he should’ve just bodied up.
Whether a shot is good or bad depends on the context. With the game tied, the Trail Blazers wanted to ensure they took the last shot of regulation, make or miss. The Thunder’s defense was set. Lillard has tremendous range.
In a good shot/bad shoot binary, I’d call this a good shot. It certainly wasn’t a great shot. But in that situation, I think it passes the test (though I’m obviously biased by seeing it going in).
The fact that it was such a difficult shot doesn’t take anything away from Lillard. It only adds to the accomplishment.
I’m loving his victory lap. After Portland got swept by the Pelicans in the first round last year, he faced questions about his ability to perform in the playoffs. It’s time to put those to rest.
There’s plenty of room to debate whether that incredible basket was a good shot or a bad shot by process. But Lillard is built for these moments. There’s no doubt.