From way downtown
May 3, 2019 11:29 AM   Subscribe

Damian Lillard's epic buzzer beater as LEGO animation.
posted by vverse23 (20 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Oh this makes me so happy.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 12:04 PM on May 3, 2019 [2 favorites]

Ball is life!
posted by Fizz at 12:05 PM on May 3, 2019 [2 favorites]

I know exactly where I was and exactly what I was doing for both of Dame’s buzzer beaters: the one in 2014 against the Rockets and now this one. Just epic. Hoping the Blazers get to the Western Conference Finals this year. #ripcity
posted by gucci mane at 12:30 PM on May 3, 2019 [2 favorites]

I really have no interest in basketball, but this shot has kinda captured my imagination.

Anyways, this article has a video of Lillard from a different angle, in slo-mo; it also captures the "bye-bye" wave he makes towards the Thunder before his team mobs him.
posted by nubs at 12:45 PM on May 3, 2019 [8 favorites]

I can’t find the actual statistics across the league for regular season 37-foot shots (or maybe rounding up to 40-feet), but at that point in the playoffs Lillard was 8-of-12 for 30+ foot shots, versus 6-of-38 for everybody else. This series was notoriously contentious due to previous bickering between the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook and Lillard himself throughout the regular season, with lots of shit talking on both sides, and this playoff series started off hot immediately. The Thunder has beaten the Blazers in all four of their matchups in the regular season. This was a tie game about to go into overtime with 2 seconds left. The Blazers hadn’t won a playoff series since 2016, so this was a very big deal for the team and for Portland (we boast a very rabid basketball fan base). That shot gave Lillard 50-points, which is a huge game. Paul George of the Thunder commented during their post-game conference:
"That's a bad, bad shot," George said. "I don't care what anybody says. That's a bad shot. But hey, he made it. That story won't be told that it was a bad shot. We live with that."

This is especially a funny quote because, well, Dame has been making those shots all series.

This was ALSO a very big deal because the Blazers’ starting center, Jusuf Nurkic, had gotten an absolutely gruesome leg injury at the end of the regular season, and he happened to come to the game during the ending moments when the Blazers were losing, which was a huge morale booster.

I took most of this from this ESPN article. The video at the top has highlights from throughout the game all the way to that shot.

I’m not especially a sports person but I do love basketball, and this was peak basketball. The narrative was set, there was a rivalry, most people didn’t expect the Blazers to win, there was a lot of pressure on them, and the ending of that game was just a momentous, legendary experience, especially for a player like Damian Lillard who has always played with a chip on his shoulder, and while he has always been considered one of the best players in the league, he’s never been mouthy or braggadocious about it. He lets his game do the talking.
posted by gucci mane at 1:11 PM on May 3, 2019 [7 favorites]

"That's a bad, bad shot," George said. "I don't care what anybody says. That's a bad shot. But hey, he made it. That story won't be told that it was a bad shot. We live with that."

The Deadspin response:

They Are All Good Shots for Damien Lillard, You Absolute Fool "Once Lillard’s shot went in, it shouldn’t have been possible for the Thunder to find any way to inflict more embarrassment upon themselves."

Which goes on to talk about Lillard's stats for the series - 4 for 4 for shots 30-34 feet from the basket, 48% for anything past 24 feet. And, you know, 50 points that night.

Anyways, it's one of those great dramatic moments of sport - final seconds, game (and series) in one player's hands, and an incredible shot to win it.
posted by nubs at 1:25 PM on May 3, 2019 [2 favorites]

The more amazing thing for me is when Dame starts calling for a pick and roll, decides against it, waves it off; knowing he is going to shoot the three from "waaay downtown". (around 6 seconds into the clip).

That and the following 'bye bye' is the most disrespectful thing I have seen.

This was not the best first round series ever. That would be the Bulls-Celtics from about a decade ago. But for the sheer animosity between the star players of each team; this takes the cake. almost reminds me of the Bulls-Pistons from 30 years ago.
posted by indianbadger1 at 1:39 PM on May 3, 2019 [2 favorites]

The Nurkic injury was a tragedy. He's one of the biggest guys in the league (so I assume more prone to knee and leg injuries by nature of his weight), and this injury occurred in the second overtime period - a lot more exertion than a typical game. I wonder if the players' union will start asking for regular-season games to end in ties rather than potentially infinite overtimes. Seeing Nurk standing up on the Blazers bench just a few weeks after that injury was tremendously encouraging.
posted by seiryuu at 1:50 PM on May 3, 2019 [2 favorites]

Yeah, I'm a Thunder fan, and a big fan of Westbrook in particular, but that was an all-time awesome moment from any objective standpoint.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:51 PM on May 3, 2019 [2 favorites]

I liked the Dame + Kanye cut
posted by mcmile at 2:53 PM on May 3, 2019 [2 favorites]

I like anytime the Thunder lose...

posted by Windopaene at 3:15 PM on May 3, 2019 [3 favorites]

Those three points feel like three thousand.
posted by panhopticon at 8:00 PM on May 3, 2019

So Enes Kanter is currently on the Blazers, but he plays a brilliant role in this video of Stephen Curry's overtime 3 against the OKC Thunder a couple years back. You have to look closely but there's Kanter (on the Thunder bench) shrugging with a "wtf are we supposed to do about that?" expression, pretty much what the Thunder have here.
posted by ethand at 8:04 PM on May 3, 2019 [1 favorite]

Also, Paul George (the defender on this play) is one of the frontrunners for Defensive Player of the Year (most guesses have him 3rd out of 500+ players).

I'm not very sports-oriented these days but this is amazing.
posted by ethand at 8:12 PM on May 3, 2019 [1 favorite]

I don't like sports but I love LEGO so I enjoyed this, thank you
posted by Pastor of Muppets at 8:18 PM on May 3, 2019

Enes Kanter is also a wanted man, he’s not allowed to go back to Turkey because Erdogan is after him. He can’t travel outside of the US.
posted by gucci mane at 8:18 PM on May 3, 2019 [1 favorite]

that shot rumbled the walls of the dive bar i was at, in a city with no stake in either team, on a random weeknight. especially with all the trash talking the thunder had been doing. no heated in your face from dame. just cold blooded. one of the all time greats.
posted by wibari at 9:22 PM on May 3, 2019 [1 favorite]

Damian Lillard is from Oakland, and every year he throws a back-to-school picnic in his old neighborhood at Brookfield Park. Not only is he an amazing ball player but he is a stand-up guy. I'm always happy to root for Portland up until the time they are playing the Warriors- not even mad that the last (regular season?) game Portland played in Oakland, Dame won with this three pointer. He spent plenty of time at Warriors' games as a kid.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:50 PM on May 3, 2019 [3 favorites]

Not to mention the fact that Dame spends a lot of time working with students at our NE Portland high schools, works with Special Olympics, and he was awarded the NBA Community Assist Award in November 2018. Definitely a stand-up guy.

He also has great taste in footwear.
posted by vverse23 at 9:44 AM on May 4, 2019 [2 favorites]

Man, watching this shot live on TV was some next-level "WTF did I just see that" sports-fandom. I can't instantly recall another sports event where I've had that reaction.

Loved this vid, best part for me: Terry Stotts. Almost never do you see NBA coaches loosen up from barking orders during a game, so the shot of him with an almost "boy-gee-whiz" goofy grin during the telecast really stood out to me (~3:50 mark in the first video in the FPP). The fact that it was seen worthy of Lego commemoration, too, (and the Lego version of Stott's "boy-gee-whiz" smile is pretty great!!) was awfully delightful to me.
posted by Theophrastus Johnson at 9:07 PM on May 5, 2019 [1 favorite]

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