The Blazers are in a tough spot with their 3 top scorers out of the lineup, they just might decide to rest Damian Lillard for the rest of the 2021-22 campaign.
Every time an NBA team thinks it is safely out of health and safety protocols, COVID-19 pulls it back in. The Portland Trail Blazers finally got all of their players COVID-free in time for last Friday’s game against the Miami Heat, just to lose Norman Powell to the health and safety protocols after the Kings game.
Powell, the third-best scorer of the Blazers joins the duo of guards, CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard both of whom are already out due to injuries. And as the Portland team was about to take on the Brooklyn Nets with a depleted squad, some sources came up saying Damian Lillard might have already played his last game of the season.
The Blazers point guard has been playing with what the team medical staff has diagnosed as “abdominal tendinopathy” the last few seasons. There is little doubt the injury has worsened this season to a point where he’s no longer able to endure it.
Damian Lillard might already have played his last game of the season
According to head coach Chauncey Billups, Portland’s MVP will not travel with the team on their 6 upcoming road games after the Nets game. Lillard will spend that time meeting with specialists in an effort to find a solution to the abdomen issue that has limited his effectiveness and forced him to miss nine games this season.
Although he was still putting up All-Star numbers with over 24-points, 7-assists, and 4-rebounds, the 6-time All-Star looks to be missing that killer instinct that wins games for the Blazers. Their 16-24 record this season is proof of that. And so resting Dame for the rest of the season and allowing him time to deal with his abdominal issue for good, wouldn’t be a bad idea. Sean Highkin, who covers the NBA for Bleacher Report believes the same.
“Don’t be surprised if Damian Lillard has played his last game of the 2021-22 NBA season.”
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) January 10, 2022
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Even after defeating the Nets 114-108 comprehensively with KD and Kyrie playing, the Blazers will not be a threat to a Golden State Warriors or a Phoenix Suns. Not even after their All-Star duo of guards come back to the action after a rehab.
So it’s better for everyone to let Dame miss the rest of the year, get a lottery pick, make some trades in the off-season and get back with a bang next season.