NBA insider Shams Charania reported that the Portland Trail Blazers were “leaning toward” shutting down franchise point guard Damian Lillard, and though the team has yet to make any kind of official announcement, it appears Shams is right again – Lillard is listed as “out” on tonight’s injury report for Portland’s home matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Blazers are still 3.5 games out of the Western Conference Play-In Tournament (OKC, ironically, owns the 10th and final play-in spot) with only nine games left in the season.
But Dame is far from the only Portland starter absent for tonight’s game at Moda Center.
Full injury report for Portland Trail Blazers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
It looks like Lillard is now in vacation mode as Charania’s report, coupled with Dame’s injury designation, would add up to the beginning of the end of the 32-year-old point guard’s 2022-23 season.
Joining Lillard with that same designation are Jerami Grant, Jusuf Nurkic, and Anfernee Simons. That leaves Matisse Thybulle as the only regular starter left standing in head coach Chauncey Billups’ regular rotation.
Shaedon Sharpe fans rejoice – the rookie can likely expect to be Portland’s No. 1 offensive option down the stretch.
With the Thunder nearly at full strength and a postseason berth in sight, the Blazers should have no problem repeating their previous performance – a 124-96 home loss to the Chicago Bulls.
Here’s tonight’s full injury report:
Portland Trail Blazers:
- Out: Damian Lillard (calf), Jusuf Nurkic (knee), Jerami Grant (quad), Anfernee Simons (foot), Justise Winslow (knee), Ibou Badji (knee)
Oklahoma City Thunder:
- Out: Kenrich Williams (wrist), Chet Holmgren (foot)