Portland Trail Blazers

Portland Trail Blazers

The tapping of the wrist...

The wave...

The NBA world knows that in crunch time it can always be Lillard Time. 

Trail Blazers five-time All-Star Damian Lillard has finished off teams in many memorable ways.

And thus, to have Lillard miss two free throws with 18.6 seconds remaining against the LA Clippers Saturday, many were stunned by the rare nature of Lillard missing down the stretch.

But for the Clippers, LA had fun taunting Lillard. Patrick Beverley, who sat out of Saturday’s game with a left calf strain, tapped his wrist loudly and yelled out "DOLLA Time" from the bench after Lillard missed the pair of clutch free throws.

Beverley has seen ‘Lillard Time’ first-hand while in Houston when the Trail Blazers had eliminated the Rockets from the first round thanks to Lillard’s “.9” shot back on May 2, 2014.

Lillard mentioned just that postgame.  

The Trail Blazers point guard said he didn’t see Beverley’s antics on the bench, but he heard about it.

After I missed the first one, I heard them over there yelling, I just think, to me that just shows what they expect from me down the stretch. They know what I do and he saw it firsthand when I was a second year player when he was in Houston, so I’m sure he has a great memory of that, which is why that drew that type of reaction from him when he saw me come up short at the end of the game. To me that’s all that says.  -- Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard 

 

But things really started earlier between Lillard and Beverley on Saturday. Lillard hit a step-back three-pointer late in the first quarter, turned to Beverley on the bench and mouthed: “I want you out here.” 

[Listen to the Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon and special guest Richard Jefferson].

And, it wasn’t just Beverley getting in on the trash talking following Lillard’s free throws. Paul George also got in on the action.

PG13 was seen ‘waving' after Lillard’s missed free throws.  

Of course, George infamously called Lillard’s series clinching three over PG's extended arm in the Blazers and Thunder Western Conference semifinals series in 2019, 'a bad shot,' which is also known as The Wave since that was Lillard’s reaction immediately following that game-winner. 

PG did the wave because he was also surprised because he experienced being waved at last year… Let me say this, for one, I knew what happened. I expect myself to make those free throws and I didn’t when my team needed it, which was a failure for me that I can accept, but asking me about Patrick Beverley who I sent him home before at the end of a game. Paul George got sent home by me last year in the playoffs. So they know. The reason they reacting like that is because what they expect from me, which is a sign of respect and it just shows what I’ve done at a high clip more times than not. So, I’m not offended by it. If anything it should just tell you how much it hurt them to go through what I put them through in those situations previously. -- Damian Lillard

George had more to say to Lillard on social media after the game.

And you getting sent home this year. Respect – Paul George replying to a Bleacher Report Instagram post on Lillard’s postgame comments

BUT, it looks like Lillard might get the last word...

Of course, Lillard’s postgame response about Beverely trash-talking, tapping his wrist, and PG13 waving goodbye to the Blazers got social media talking as well:

Just as Lillard’s free throws clanked off the front of the iron, the Trail Blazers came up short, 122-117 to the Clippers Saturday.

Portland and Lillard have no time to hang their heads as the Blazers face the Philadelphia 76ers Sunday afternoon.

It seems Lillard Time will have to wait until later in the NBA restart.