"I was asked in six or seven [games], and I said six. It was a lighthearted exchange," Lillard told ESPN on Thursday. "But with that said, I do believe we can win the series."
Lillard's "in six" reply caused a social media stir.
The two-time All-Star was interviewed Tuesday by CSN Northwest, the local television partner of the Trail Blazers. He was asked whether the eighth-seeded Blazers could beat the best team in the NBA in six games or seven, and he playfully responded with six.
The Blazers have the second-best record (17-6) in the NBA since March 1. Lillard's MVP-level play, C.J. McCollum's continued improvement and the midseason acquisition of big man Jusuf Nurkic have redirected the team's path.
This is why Lillard is a firm believer in his guys being able to compete with anyone -- even the Warriors in the opening round.
"I have a lot of respect for the Warriors," Lillard told ESPN. "...We're playing our best basketball right now and that has given us a lot of confidence."
Game 1 will be Sunday at Oracle Arena.
Portland finished the season at 41-41, while Golden State rolled to a 67-15 mark. Five No. 1 seeds have been upset in the first round in NBA playoff history. The Warriors only have to look to themselves to know they need to be careful. In 2007, a 42-40 Warriors team, coached by former Dallas coach Don Nelson, upset the top-seeded Mavericks, who had a 67-15 mark.
If the Blazers beat the Warriors in any games this series, it will be a first for the season. Portland went 0-4 against Golden State, losing by an average of 19.5 points.
The teams haven't met since the end of January, which was before the Nurkic trade.