Lillard feels like he got caught up talking to the refs too much.
Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers made quick work of the Oklahoma City Thunder and last night, the team got to face off against the Denver Nuggets in Game 1 of their second-round matchup. The Blazers ultimately lost the game 121-113 and after the match, Lillard spoke about how the team's obsession with the officiating became a problem. During their series with the Thunder, Lillard and company never engaged with the refs but on Monday night, that all changed.
"I think it was a little bit more of that, probably more than we needed," Lillard said according to ESPN. "Maybe we needed to not say as much. Any time you see guys wanting it that bad, you're going to say stuff sometimes, but we might've had a little too much of that tonight."
Lillard also explained that last night's game was a bit more contentious than the team is used to when it came to referees. Officiating has been under a microscope in these playoffs and the players are starting to be vocal about it. For Lillard, he just wants to see the officials be held accountable when they make a call.
"It was a little bit of a heated game when it came to the whistle for us. We'd say something when something needed to be said," Lillard said. "Nobody got a tech, so it wasn't anything disrespectful. But when your season is on the line, you've got to be willing to challenge what's happening out there and try to put your team in the best position to win."
Lillard and the Blazers will have an opportunity to tie the series on Wednesday night in Game 2.