With 4 1/2 minutes to play in Wednesday night’s matchup between the Indiana Pacers and Portland Trail Blazers — a game the Pacers had led by 18 points just seven minutes earlier, but that Portland had tightened up thanks to a 21-9 run — Pacers center Roy Hibbert fouled Blazers point guard while trying to hedge on a high screen-and-roll. When Lillard stepped to the line, cameras showed that he had suffered a pretty big cut on his right elbow, possibly when Hibbert poked at the ball with his left hand:
The Guidelines for Infection Control in the Official Rules of the National Basketball Association read, in part, as follows:
If a player suffers a laceration or a wound where bleeding occurs or if blood is visible on a player or his uniform, the officials shall suspend the game at the earliest appropriate time and allow a maximum of 30 seconds for treatment. After that time, the head coach shall be informed that he has the option to substitute for the player, call a regular timeout or a 20-second timeout.
The officials didn’t seem to notice, since play wasn’t stopped for Lillard to receive treatment on the cut until nearly three minutes later. Part of the reason why they didn’t notice sooner, though, can be credited to Hibbert, as captured by eagle-eyed YouTube user somekido17 :
Shrewd move pulling those massive shorts up high enough to cover up that blood stain, Roy. Not the most hygienic or fashion-forward, necessarily, but still: Smart. Plus, the quick look around you, the little “hope nobody saw that” face … priceless.