A focal point of NBA officials this year has been not calling fouls on non-basketball related moves. Some players have openly griped about this, and you can count Damian Lillard among those who aren’t a fan of the new approach.
Dame Lillard blasts the new foul rule changes pic.twitter.com/VR9RFV8QjE
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“I feel like the way the game is being officiated is unacceptable,” Lillard said on Tuesday night after the Portland Trail Blazers lost to the Los Angeles Clippers. ” I don’t want to go too deep into it so they make a big deal out of it, but the explanations, the sh*t that’s getting missed, I mean, come on, man. 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 unacceptable.”
Lillard, who went 4-for-13 from the field against the Clippers on Wednesday before he offered his take on officiating, is off to a slow start this year. His scoring is down about nine points per game from last season and he’s taking four fewer free throws per game. He’s also only hitting 25.5 percent of his attempts from three, so it’s likely not all how he’s being officiated.
But he clearly feels that the way games are officiated has affected him — against Los Angeles, Lillard scored 27 points but only went to the free throw line once. On the season, Lillard is attempted 3.2 free throws per game, the lowest mark of his career.