The Portland Trail Blazers are kicking off a five-game homestand tonight against the Chicago Bulls, likely the most winnable game during this span at Moda Center as Portland also takes on the Oklahoma City Thunder and New Orleans Pelicans, followed by back-to-back matchups with the Sacramento Kings.
The Blazers remain a long shot to make the postseason, but a loss would go a long way toward increasing the team’s lottery odds – a 12-point win in Utah two nights ago did them no favors in that department as Portland dropped from sixth to seventh in the race to Victor Wembanyama.
Who’s in and who’s out tonight as the Blazers look to, as sad as it sounds, lose at home to Chicago?
Damian Lillard, Jusuf Nurkic, Jerami Grant, Anfernee Simons out for Blazers vs. Bulls
It appears Portland is doing everything it can to tank at this point as the Blazers’ four best players will be in street clothes tonight.
Damian Lillard, Jusuf Nurkic, Jerami Grant, and Anfernee Simons are all out, which means more minutes and perhaps a featured offensive role for Shaedon Sharpe (who had the best game of his young career against the Jazz).
Trendon Watford also starred in Utah, and he, Cam Reddish, Matisse Thybulle, and Kevin Knox will likely all get a chance to shine against the Bulls.
Chicago, meanwhile, is still missing Lonzo Ball and will also be without DeMar DeRozan.
Here’s the full injury report for tonight’s game:
Portland Trail Blazers:
Out: Damian Lillard (calf), Jusuf Nurkic (knee), Jerami Grant (quad), Anfernee Simons (foot), Justise Winslow (knee), Ibou Badji (knee)
Probable: Nassir Little (concussion)
Out: Lonzo Ball (knee), DeMar DeRozan (quad)
Probable: Alex Caruso (foot), Javonte Green (knee)