Damian Lillard-C.J. McCollum tandem won’t shy away from Draymond Green’s trash talk
The Portland Trail Blazers backcourt of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum put on a fireworks show in the first half of Game 1 against the Golden State Warriors, scoring 48 of their team’s 56 points in the first half.
A constant barrage of buckets had the two guards exchanging words with the Warriors’ best all-around defender, Draymond Green, in what seemed to be a back-and-forth affair for the entire duration of the game.
“For me, it’s just going to make me raise the level of my game because I take [Green’s trash talk] as a challenge,” Lillard said after his team’s 121-109 Game 1 loss, according to ESPN’s Chris Haynes. “I’m going to take exception to it, and I’m going to say something back. That’s what it’s going to be, as long as that’s how he’s approaching it — it’s going to be coming right back.”
“I think having a guy like that on the floor, I think it raises the level of the game, because I don’t even talk trash, and he was saying so much out there that I had a whole lot to say tonight,” Lillard said of Green.
Portland’s two gatling guns had enough ammo to keep an 88-88 tie after three quarters, but their guns eventually overheated, allowing for Golden State to break the game wide open to a double-digit lead and eventual victory.
“It’s not like there’s anyone out there being disrespectful towards another,” said Green after an all-around defensive onslaught of a night. “It’s fun. You hit a shot, he’s talking to us. I hit a shot, I’m talking to them. I miss the dunk, he’s telling me I need to do calf raises.”
“It was good back-and-forth; it makes the game a lot more fun, that’s for sure.”
“Yeah, he does need to do some calf raises so he can dunk,” McCollum said with a laugh in light of Green’s blown dunk in the third quarter. “Yeah, it’s a game. It’s a game we all love. We come out here, represent our teams, representing our hometowns where everybody’s from. And where I’m from, if you talk trash, then I’m going to talk trash to you. It’s not disrespectful. We’re not talking about nobody’s mamas or nothing bad.”
Lillard ultimately respects Green despite what is said on the court, pointing out it’s a rather lost art in today’s professional basketball scene.
“I think the league has softened up a lot, and it’s not like that, so you’ve got to have a rough guy like him out there,” Lillard said. “I think it’s necessary. I think their team depends on him to be that dog out there and to be that person.”