The first three games of the Western Conference Finals has been a nightmare for the Portland Trail Blazers. After a historic performance by Stephen Curry in Game 1, the Trail Blazers blew back-to-back double-digit leads in the third quarter, and are now facing elimination down 3-0 heading into Monday’s game.
With hopes of avoiding a sweep to the Golden State Warriors, the Trail Blazers will have to do so with an injured star. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Trail Blazers all-star, Damian Lillard, has been diagnosed with a separated rib. The injury occurred during the second half of the Blazers’ 114-111 Game 2 loss on Thursday in Oakland.
Despite Damian Lillard appearing to injure his ribs on this play in Game 2, Portland's star has been playing through his injury.
Dame played 40 min in Game 3. pic.twitter.com/VXLTTqJNnM
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 19, 2019
Perhaps Lillard’s injury was the cause for his subpar performance in the Blazers’ 116-94 Game 3 loss. The four-time all-star scored 19 points and hit four of his 12 shots from the field. In addition to his shooting woes, Lillard also had a rough time taking care of the basketball, as he recorded seven turnovers in the loss.
Although his injury is not enough to keep him out of the lineup, Lillard’s separated rib adds to a list of wounded Blazers.
Enes Kanter has played a valuable role in Portland’s postseason run averaging 11.7 points and 10.7 rebounds across 15 games. However, despite his on-court production, Kanter has played the entire postseason with a separated shoulder. It also does not help the Blazers have been without their third-leading scorer, Jusuf Nurkic, who suffered a season-ending leg injury in late March.
Now with the latest injury to Damian Lillard, it safe to say that the Blazers may not have enough firepower to dethrone the mighty Warriors and advance to the NBA Finals. However, after overcoming so much adversity to advance to the Conference Finals, the Portland Trail Blazers have a lot to be thankful for as their season draws near a close.
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