Trail Blazers

Damian Lillard appears sick and tired of NBA officiating after loss to Wizards

Trail Blazers

Stop me if you have heard this one before. Damian Lillard drives to the basket, draws contact, is fouled, but you never hear a whistle.

We've all seen it, and we saw it again in Saturday's 118-111 loss to the Washington Wizards.

Damian Lillard drove the basket late in a very close game and appeared to be fouled by Rui Hachimura. No foul was called and the Wizards got the stop. 

Then, in perhaps the biggest missed call of the night, Lillard was fouled on a steal attempt. 

With Portland needing a stop to keep hope alive, Lillard intercepted a Davis Bertans pass, giving Portland life. However, as he made his move to push the ball up the court, Bradley Beal came in to stop him. Beal basically ran into Lillard and forced the turnover thanks to another no-call. 

At this point, it's getting old and Lillard appears to be tired of it.

“For me, it’s just frustrating how physical people can be when defending me in certain situations. In our last road trip, I had back-to-back games with five fouls, about to foul out just playing normal defense," said Lillard after the game. "I’m going to the rim getting smacked in the head. I’m getting grabbed. Getting slapped on the arms. Getting pushed in the back. I mean, that’s the frustrating thing for me. I'm not out here flopping and trying to trick the referees or things like that. I'm trying to score and getting hit in the head."

 

Of course, like many players, Lillard tries to voice his concerns during the game. But the answers he is getting from the officials are about as poor as the no-calls themselves.

I’m trying to have conversations about it and I’m getting slick looks and kind of like sarcastic answers or just dry answers. That's frustrating.

Damian Lillard

This has been bubbling over for a while. Damian Lillard was frustrated with officiating in Dallas last week and he had every right to be after picking up five fouls. He also received a technical foul in that game for arguing that he wasn't getting the benefit of the whistle. 

Back to Saturday's game and the blatant missed foul call on Beal-- That play could have dramatically changed the game.

Portland was down by seven with under a minute to play. A Lillard three could have made it a four-point game and made the Wizard sweat a little. Instead, Hachimura was fouled, made two from the line and made it a nine-point game. That is basically a five-point swing, and Lillard knows it.

The reason the foul wasn't called. The ref didn't see it, or so he said.

"'I didn't see that' was literally the answer," Lillard said of when he asked the ref about the no-call. "I stole the ball and he ran into my back. I didn't see that? C’mon, man. To me that’s a slick comment when that’s your response. ‘I didn’t see that,’ when the whole arena saw that. So, it’s just those moments that’s frustrating when it comes to the physicality.”

Blazers fans have long taken to social and tried to bring attention to the way their star point guard is being treated. On Saturday, he did the work for them.

I don't know if this qualifies as a finable offense for criticizing the officials, but it certainly needed to be said. 

Players are expected to play at a certain standard and get ridiculed when they don't. Officials should be no exception. 

Will the NBA take notice and finally give Lillard the calls he deserves? 

We will look to see on Monday when the Blazers take on the Phoenix Suns. Tipoff is set for 6PM on NBC Sports Northwest.