Rule changes for the current NBA season have been a hot topic early on, and it has left players like the Portland Trail Blazers Damian Lillard seemingly frustrated.
Following the Blazers’ 117-109 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, Lillard claimed that officiating in the League has been “unacceptable” this season.
“I feel like the way the game is being officiated is unacceptable,” Lillard said via NBC Sports. ”I don’t want to go too deep into it so they make a big deal out of it, but the explanations, the s*** that’s getting missed, I mean, come on. 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, and it’s just unacceptable. Then the explanations and the remarks in return when you tell them is just like [Lillard shrugs]. I don’t even have nothin’ else to say about it.”
It’s easy to see why Lillard appears to be frustrated with officiating when you look at the numbers: he’s averaging 20.0 points per game, his lowest mark since his rookie season, and shooting only 25.4 percent from three.
Lillard is also not shooting nearly as many free throws as he has in years past. So far this season, Lillard is averaging 3.3 free throws per game, the lowest mark of his career and a vast departure from the 7.2 attempts he averaged per game last season.
The tough start for Lillard has culminated into a tough start to the season for the Blazers, who are tied for 10th in the Western Conference with a record of 5-7.