NBA Rumors: Damian Lillard is expected to miss time due to an injury.
One of the biggest surprises of the season in the Western Conference this season has been the impressive play of the Portland Trail Blazers. Through the first week of the season, they’ve gotten off to a 4-1 start with signature wins over the Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets.
At the very least, it appears that the Blazers will not be an afterthought this season and could end up competing for one of the top six teams in the Western Conference. However, over the next couple of weeks (at least), the Blazers are going to have to survive without Damian Lillard.
The Portland Trail Blazers will have to survive without Damian Lillard for a while
In the third quarter against the Miami Heat Wednesday night, Lillard suffered a calf injury that forced him out of the game. After the game, Lillard admitted that he wasn’t worried about the injury. That said, it was announced Thursday that he would be reevaluated in 1-2 weeks.
For the next few games, the Blazers are going to have to play without Lillard. And knowing what we know about the Blazers’ recent history, that could prove to be a difficult task for a team that has relied so heavily recently on their star.
It’s even more of a shame considering that Lillard had gotten off to such a hot start to the year. Through the first few games, Lillard was averaging 31 points, five rebounds, and five assists on 50 percent shooting from the field and 39 percent shooting from 3-point range.
In the game he left against the Heat, Lillard was up to 22 points before he was forced out in the third quarter.
Looking at what we could expect from the Blazers over the next couple of weeks, it should be noted – this isn’t the same roster as last year. Even despite the absence of a huge upgrade on the roster (apologies to Jerami Grant), this team is better equipped to handle an extended absence from their star.
At the same rate, I don’t think we should expect the Blazers to seamlessly continue on this hot streak without Lillard. He’s been their heartbeat and a lightning rod for the team, and that extends well beyond this season.
It’s a shame that Lillard will miss the next couple of weeks, but the Blazers have established themselves as a true threat in the West. And that should only be expected to be continued once Lillard comes back.