Immediately after the Portland Trail Blazers were swept out of the first round of the NBA playoffs last April, Lillard approached Beckner for suggestions on how to improve.
The first-team All-NBA point guard felt he needed another weapon in his arsenal after the New Orleans Pelicans limited him to 35.2 percent shooting during the series.
What Beckner urged him to do was spend his offseason working to extend his shooting range until he was as comfortable shooting from 30 feet as he was from the NBA arc (22 to 23.75 feet).
贝克纳敦促他做的是在休赛期努力扩大他的投篮范围，直到他在30英尺的投篮和在NBA三分线(22 - 23.75英尺)的投篮一样舒服为止。
If Lillard could force defenders to guard him that far from the basket the way Steph Curry does, Beckner felt it could help him ascend from an elite offensive player to one of the league's very best.
Lillard hired Beckner to be his trainer year-round for the first time and the two men went to work. Beckner would create a 3-point arc out of tape about four feet behind the actual NBA line.
Then he'd have Lillard attempt all kinds of shots from behind that arc, from catch-and-shoot threes, to step-backs, to shots off either leg.
"Extending his range was the biggest thing we worked on all offseason and throughout the season," Beckner said. "The amount he works at it is almost sickening. He's a lunatic."
The payoff began to show during the regular season when Lillard displayed confidence shooting as far from the basket as the edge of the mid-court logo.
George told reporters after the game, "That's a bad shot. I don't care what anybody says. That's a bad shot. But hey, he made it. That story will be told. It was a bad shot. You live with that."
If George was willing to live with that, it was only because he wasn't in the arena on off nights during the series when Lillard worked on shots similar to that one over and over and over.
And George didn't hear Beckner tell Lillard at the end of one of those workouts, "You're going to hit a big one of these. It's going to come up big."
Meanwhile, Chandler Parsons — who was on the wrong end of Lillard's previous series-clinching buzzer-beater in 2014 — sent his condolences to the Thunder.
happens to the best of us
— Chandler Parsons