Blazers star Damian Lillard accidentally dishes out assist to Spurs coach Gregg Popovich
Instead, Lillard hit Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich right in the shooting pocket.
Dame throws Pop a dime 😅 pic.twitter.com/qXmBeI0Spt
— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) January 18, 2021
Lillard and Hood both protested the ball was tipped and redirected. But the referees awarded the Spurs the ball, meaning Dame essentially found Pop in a triple-threat position.
Avoiding turnovers has typically been a strong suit of Lillard’s game, considering his usage. He had a 40-point game with zero turnovers in a Jan. 13 win over the Sacramento Kings and is averaging under three turnovers per contest on over 36 minutes per game.
But it would not be a surprise to see a spike in Lillard’s turnover numbers. The Blazers will be without star shooting guard CJ McCollum for at least a week, who suffered a foot injury just days after Jusuf Nurkic sustained a fractured wrist. Lillard will have to bring the offense on a consistent basis.
Of course, Dame has plenty of experience shouldering the offensive burden.
The 30-year-old dazzled with his prolific scoring outbursts during the NBA restart, almost single-handedly willing the Blazers to the playoffs. He showed he could score in just about any way possible, including firing long threes from the logo.
Lillard was averaging 27.6 points per game entering Monday’s showdown with the Spurs, though his efficiency was down slightly from last season. The Trail Blazers will hope Dame can stay on point as they navigate injury issues.
Ideally, that means finding teammates for open looks rather than opposing head coaches, though the latter certainly provided for good humor on Monday afternoon.