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NBA --- Lillard still down as Portland chases playoffs spot


PhilBoxing.com




PORTLAND -- When the 2019-20 NBA season began last October, the Portland Trail Blazers were expected to easily make to post-season, what with their talent and the gained experience from a deep playoffs run last summer.

But perception and reality are two different animals. And the Blazers are finding that out the hard way.

With a little over six weeks left before the 82-game regular season ends, Portland has a disappointing 26-32 record which puts them in 9th place in the Western Conference standings. They trail the 28-29 Memphis Grizzlies by three games for the eighth and last playoffs berth.

Besides trying to supplant the Grizzlies, the Blazers must also somehow prevent the 25-32 New Orleans Pelicans and the 24-32 San Antonio Spurs from sneaking in down the stretch.

And that difficult task, at least for now, will have to be accomplished without their leader and best player, Damian Lillard.

For the third consecutive game, the Blazers will play without their star when they host the Boston Celtics today at the Moda Center.

Lillard was hurt in Portland's 111-104 defeat to the Grizzlies at the FedEx Forum in Memphis last Wednesday. An MRI confirmed a right groin strain. He is expected to be out for multiple games, between three to four, reports said.

Obviously Lillard is huge loss, especially at a time when he is playing some of his best basketball since beginning his pro career as the sixth pick of the NBA draft. A veteran of seven years and 603 regular seasons, Lillard is averaging 29.5 points, 4.4 rebounds and 7.9 assists per through 54 games this season.

The 6-foot-2, 195-pound Lillard is making $29.8 million this season or $363,414 per game.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Ryan Gallardo.


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