When you’re playing against Damian Lillard, who can hit shots from anywhere (even ones he’s predicted he’ll attempt!) with defenders in his face, the playbook goes out the window.
That was the case with the Brooklyn Nets, who tried in vain to keep the Portland Trail Blazers guard from going off like he has in the NBA bubble. It wasn’t enough as Lillard poured in 42 points in the win that got his squad to the West No. 8 seed play-in series.
So what did the Nets try defensively? We found out from some audio from mics that TNT showed on the broadcast: Garrett Temple spoke to teammate Jeremiah Martin and told him to guard Lillard if he was coming up the court, and he didn’t “care if it’s Michael Jordan over there. You pick him up!”
And he, too, predicted that Lillard won’t be afraid to shoot from half-court:
The Blazers’ reaction nailed it:
Yep. Good effort.