Latest health update on Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard will undergo further evaluation and consultation concerning his lower abdominal tendinopathy, the team announced today.

Lillard will miss Portland’s next three games against Miami (Jan. 5), Cleveland (Jan. 7) and Sacramento (Jan. 9). He will be reevaluated next week.

Further updates will be provided as appropriate.

In 29 games (all starts) this season, Lillard has averaged 24.0 points (40.2% FG, 32.4% 3-PT, 89.3% FT), 4.1 rebounds and 7.3 assists in 36.4 minutes per game. Among NBA leaders, he ranks 11th in scoring, 10th in assists and 16th in free throw percentage.

Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard out with lower abdominal tendinopathy

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) confirms Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard with lower abdominal tendinopathy, it was announced today by president of basketball operations Neil Olshey.

Lillard will continue his recovery protocol and be re-evaluated in 10 days.

Through 20 games (all starts) this season, Lillard is averaging 21.5 points (39.7% FG, 30.2% 3-PT, 91.1% FT), 4.0 rebounds, 7.8 assists and 35.7 minutes for the Trail Blazers.

James Harden, Damian Lillard named NBA Players of Week

The NBA announced today that Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden has been named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week and Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard named Western Conference Player of the Week for games played from Monday, Feb. 15, through Sunday, Feb. 21.

The honor is Harden’s second as a Net and the 26th Player of the Week award of his career.

Harden led Brooklyn to a perfect 4-0 week, registering averages of 31.8 points on 55.0 percent shooting from the field, 48.6 percent shooting from 3-point range and 80.8 percent shooting from the free-throw line, 9.0 rebounds, 10.8 assists and 1.3 steals in 37.4 minutes per game. He notched four double-doubles (tied for the most in the Eastern Conference for the week), including one triple-double, and ranked second in the East in assists per game, sixth in points per game and was one of just two players in the East to average 30.0 or more points and 10.0 or more assists. Harden began the week by recording his fifth triple-double as a Net (tied for the second-most in franchise history) with 29 points, 13 rebounds and 14 assists in 35 minutes in a 136-125 victory at Sacramento on Feb. 15. He followed up that performance by tallying 38 points (his most as a Net), seven rebounds and 11 assists in 37 minutes on Feb. 16 at Phoenix, as Brooklyn erased a 24-point deficit, capped by Harden’s go-ahead 3-pointer with 31.4 seconds to go in the fourth quarter, to earn a 128-124 victory over the Suns. Harden totaled 23 points, five rebounds and 11 assists in 38 minutes in a 109-98 road win over the L.A. Lakers on Feb. 18, and rounded out the week by posting 37 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists in 41 minutes in a road victory over the L.A. Clippers on Feb. 21. The four straight wins propelled Brooklyn to a 5-0 record on its West Coast trip, representing the longest undefeated road trip in franchise history. Brooklyn is 13-5 in games Harden has appeared in this season and is currently a half-game back of Philadelphia for first place in the East.

Harden is one of 27 players in franchise history to earn Player of the Week honors and one of two this season, joining Kevin Durant, who captured the award on Jan. 18. Harden is the first Net to earn Player of the Week honors twice in the same season since Brook Lopez in the 2014-15 season.

In his 12th NBA season, Harden has appeared in 26 games this season, including 18 with Brooklyn. In those 18 games as a Net, he’s registered averages of 24.9 points on 50.2 percent shooting from the field, 41.0 percent shooting from 3-point range and 87.8 percent shooting from the free-throw line, 8.3 rebounds, a league-leading 11.4 assists and 1.2 steals in 38.4 minutes per contest.

The Trail Blazers, who have won six of their last seven games, went 2-1 on the week with Lillard posting averages of 36.3 points (43.4% FG, 40.4% 3-PT, 94.7% FT), 5.7 rebounds, 12.7 assists and 1.33 steals. He led the league in scoring for the week and ranked second in assists.

This marks the second time this season and 11th time in his career that Lillard has been named the NBA Western Conference Player of the Week. His 11 Player of the Week honors are the most in franchise history (Drexler – 10).

Lillard began the week with 31 points (12-25 FG, 5-14 3-PT, 2-3 FT), seven rebounds and 10 assists at Oklahoma City on February 16. Portland trailed the Thunder by five points with 4:48 remaining in the fourth quarter before closing the game on an 18-2 run that featured Lillard making four three-pointers and assisting on two others. On February 17 in New Orleans, Lillard scored 43 points (14-28 FG, 7-16 3-PT, 8-8 FT) while matching his career high of 16 assists. With 16.5 seconds remaining, Lillard completed a three-point play on a driving layup to deliver a 126-124 Trail Blazers victory. He closed the week with 35 points, six rebounds and 12 assists against Washington on February 20. Lillard has recorded at least 30 points, 10 assists and five three-pointers in each of his last four games, which ties his own mark for the longest such streak in NBA history.

For the season, Lillard is averaging 30.0 points (44.5% FG, 38.5% 3-PT, 93.5% FT), 4.5 rebounds, 7.9 assists and 1.07 steals. He leads the NBA in 30-point games (18), ranks third in scoring and is tied for eighth in assists.

2019-20 All-NBA teams announced

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James have been unanimously selected to the 2019-20 All-NBA First Team.

James has set the NBA record with his 16th All-NBA Team selection, which includes a record 13 selections to the First Team, two to the Second Team and one to the Third Team. He passed 15-time All-NBA Team selections Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan.

Antetokounmpo, the 2019-20 NBA Defensive Player of the Year, and James both received All-NBA First Team votes on all 100 ballots to finish with 500 points each. Named to the All-NBA Team for the fourth time, Antetokounmpo has earned his second First Team honor.

The 2019-20 All-NBA First Team also features Houston Rockets guard James Harden (474 points; 89 First Team votes), Lakers forward-center Anthony Davis (455 points; 79 First Team votes) and Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Dončić (416 points; 59 First Team votes).

Harden and Davis have been voted to the All-NBA First Team for the sixth and fourth time, respectively. Dončić is making his All-NBA Team debut in his second season. He is the first player selected to the All-NBA First Team in either his first or second season since Duncan in 1998-99. Dončić, 21, also becomes the sixth player named to the All-NBA First Team at age 21 or younger, joining Kevin Durant (2009-10), James (2005-06), Duncan (1997-98), Rick Barry (1965-66) and Max Zaslofsky (1946-47).

The 2019-20 All-NBA Second Team consists of LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (372 points), Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokić (311), Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (284), Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul (199) and Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam (168).

The 2019-20 All-NBA Third Team is composed of Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (153 points), Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (147), Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (110), Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (61) and Rockets guard Russell Westbrook (56).

Siakam, Tatum and Simmons join Dončić as first-time selections to the All-NBA Team. Paul and Westbrook have been voted to the All-NBA Team for the ninth time each. Lillard and Leonard have earned their fifth and fourth All-NBA Team selections, respectively. This marks the third All-NBA Team honor for both Butler and Gobert and the second for Jokić.

The All-NBA Team was selected by a global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters. Players were awarded five points for each vote to the All-NBA First Team, three points for each vote to the Second Team and one point for each vote to the Third Team. Voters selected two guards, two forwards and one center for each team, choosing players at the position where they play regularly. Players who received votes at multiple positions were slotted at the position where they received the most votes.

The voting was conducted based on regular-season games played through March 11. The seeding games, which were played July 30 – Aug. 14 as part of the 2019-20 season restart, did not count toward voting for the All-NBA Team or the league’s other traditional end-of-season awards.

Blazers guard Damian Lillard out for Game 5 vs Lakers

The Trail Blazers are in trouble. They looked badly overmatched against the Lakers yesterday in Game 4, even before star guard Damian Lillard had to exit the game early due to a knee issue. Now they’ll be without Dame in tomorrow’s Game 5. Here’s NBC Sports Northwest reporting:

With Damian Lillard out for Wednesday’s game due to a right knee sprain, the Trail Blazers are still determined to come together and work to right the ship in Game 5 against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Down 1-3 in their first round series to the Lakers is difficult enough to handle, but now the Blazers are going to be down a superstar in Damian Lillard.

Portland got out worked and outshot to start Monday’s Game 4. After falling behind 15-0 and then 30-10, the Blazers were working uphill all night against the No. 1 seeded team in the West.

LeBron James was as good as ever yesterday in Game 4, and at one point even pulled up for a deep three-pointer not far from the halfcourt league logo. “Logo LeBron” anyone?

It’ll be a tall task for Portland tomorrow.

Trail Blazers squeeze out 140-135 overtime win vs Grizzlies

The NBA restart at Disney Wide World of Sports in Florida began Thursday. On Friday, the Western conference 9th-seed Blazers squeezed out a tough 140-135 overtime win against a Grizzlies team that is currently just above them in the standings at 8th. Here’s Blazers.com reporting:

Playing for the first time this season with both Jusuf Nurkić and Zach Collins in the starting lineup, the Trail Blazers got off to a quick start Friday afternoon by shooting 62 percent from the field in the first quarter quarter. Had the Grizzlies not shot five more free throws and made twice as many three-pointers, Portland would have entered the second quarter leading by more than the 35-30.

The free throw discrepancy only got worse in the second quarter, with the Grizzlies being awarded 15 trips to the line compared to just five for the Trail Blazers. Even with Memphis being gently guided to the charity stripe seemingly every offensive possession, Portland still managed to take a 12-point lead, their largest of the game, before taking a 68-60 advantage into the intermission…

“We all knew coming in it was going to be a battle,” said Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard. “They’re a really high energy, young team, they play fast, they play hard… We kept our minds in it and once it came down to it, I think we showed we was the team that wanted it more.”

The Trail Blazers are now 30-37 overall and 1-0 in Orlando. More importantly, the win, along with the associated loss, gets the Trail Blazers to within 2.5 games of the Grizzlies for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West with seven “seeding games” to play.

Blazers guard Damian Lillard staying in shape with home gym

Here’s an update on Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, via NBC Sports Northwest:

“I haven’t been able to get into the training facility,” Lillard said. “At the moment, they don’t want us in the practice facility. They don’t want us training with any of our coaches or anything like that. They also don’t want us training at a third-party gym or with a third-party trainer, so it’s basically like if you don’t have a gym at home, you can’t train. So fortunately for me, I have a gym at home, so I’ve been able to kind of continue and get work done.”

The only players allowed to enter the Trail Blazers practice facility at the moment are the players who are still rehabbing from injuries, including Zach Collins, Jusuf Nurkic and Rodney Hood…

Lillard has thought about the players around the league who aren’t able to continue to train and workout in a home gym.

“People who don’t have that and at some point are going to be expected to come back as a professional athlete and perform on call, that makes it tough,” Lillard added.

It’s no surprise, of course, that Lillard has a gym at home. Most NBA players do. And for the near future, home is where they’ll be staying safe and healthy while waiting this whole thing out as the world deals with the coronavirus saga.