As Damian Lillard put it postgame, the Blazers “are in a tough spot” right now with the so many injuries, but he also said, “we’re not making any excuses.”
The Trail Blazers were without four of their big men on Saturday night as the Philadelphia 76ers stole a game in Portland.
Portland was without Hassan Whiteside (hyperextended left knee) and Zach Collins (left dislocated shoulder) to start the game.
And of course, Pau Gasol and Jusuf Nurkic continue to rehab their injuries.
But then in the fourth quarter, the injury bug hit once more.
Midway through the fourth, Tobias Harris had the ball at the top of the key with Rodney Hood defending him. Sixers guard Ben Simmons then set a screen on the ball, but as Simmons set the screen his knee made contact with Hood’s knee.
Hood went down hard and stayed on the floor for a couple of minutes, before heading back to the locker room.
After the game, the Blazers announced his had suffered a left knee contusion.
“It was knee to knee. I saw the replay. He kind of stuck his knee out a little bit. It’s just, I couldn’t put no pressure on it so I had to come out,” Hood said postgame.
“Knee is swollen right now,” Hood added. “But I think it’ll be alright, I don’t think anything [is] structurally wrong, just swollen right now. So hopefully some treatment and I’ll be back next game.”
Hood said he would be icing his knee and working on getting the swelling down.
The Blazers are going to re-evaluate Hood in the morning, but there was no x-ray or any type of imagining done immediately after the game. The team doctors are now going to wait and see how Hood is feeling in the morning.
Before suffering the injury, Hood said he was “in rhythm” on the offensive end. He ended up being the Blazers' second leading scorer on the night before he went down.
“Yeah, offensively, I think this was one of our better games,” Hood said. “Just pushing the pace, finding shooters, moving the ball. We turned it over a little bit but for the most part, we played well. Defensively it was just tough not having bigs down there, they really got into the paint and did what they really wanted to do. It was tough for us but we put up a fight. Obviously, we wish we would have came out with a win. We played well enough to win but we’ll learn from this one and keep moving forward.”
Hood mentioned his left elbow, hand, and tailbone were all sore from a play that happened earlier in the fourth quarter.
Kent Bazemore finished out the game for Hood. Bazemore had seven points and six rebounds in the loss.
As the Blazers continue to push through all the injuries, Lillard discussed how difficult it was to see yet another teammate on the floor in pain.
“It’s tough because like I said, he was playing such a great game. He was really rolling and you could tell he was moving around well and feeling good and already being shorthanded – all of our bigs are pretty much hurt – seeing another one of our starters go down is the last thing we wanted to see right now. The next guy came in – Baze came in and we were still in position to win the game, we just came up short.”
The injury-riddled Blazers will now play the injury-riddled Warriors on Monday night.