With just four more days until the eight 'seeding games' tip-off for Portland, and just one more scrimmage on the docket, the Trail Blazers have turned their attention to getting healthy and preparing for the Memphis Grizzlies.
Besides the NBA’s restart scrimmages, the Blazers aren’t getting in a lot of scrimmage time against each other right now.
Trail Blazers big man Jusuf Nurkic, who finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds in Portland’s 110-104 loss to Toronto on Sunday, explained that the focus of the teams’ practices are not about getting up and down at the moment.
“Honestly not a lot of playing," Nurkic said after Monday's practice. "We’re down some bodies and trying to figure out the health and trying to ramp up for Memphis... We focus pretty much all days from yesterday and on, on Memphis. That’s our main focus.”
In the Trail Blazers second scrimmage Sunday, Portland was short-handed once again. After not having Hassan Whiteside (Achilles) and Nassir Little (concussion) in the first scrimmage, the Blazers were without Little and All-Star Damian Lillard on Sunday. The Blazers captain sat out to rest his left foot after dealing with inflammation near the bottom of his foot.
Tuesday will be the one-week mark since Little suffered a concussion in practice and entered the NBA's concussion protocol.
Both Lillard and Little’s status for Tuesday’s scrimmage against the Thunder is still up in the air following Monday’s practice.
The good news though: Both Lillard and Little were active in Monday's practice.
It was basically a non-contact practice with shooting and weights and everything. Dame did everything. Nassir played some one-on-one, which is the last hurdle in his protocol, so hopefully he’ll be available tomorrow. That’s not definite now, but hopefully that leads to him being able to play tomorrow. -- Blazers coach Terry Stotts after Monday's practice
Coach Stotts says they will wait to determine until tomorrow if Damian Lillard (left foot inflammation) will play in the final scrimmage.— Jamie Hudson (@JamieHudsonNBCS) July 27, 2020
Stotts added that Lillard did go through their light practice today.
Stotts said Lillard’s status for Tuesday’s scrimmage is “to be determined.”
The Blazers training staff and Lillard himself will have the final say on if he plays or sits out of Portland’s final scrimmage.
Stotts added, “If it would serve him better to sit out tomorrow then he’ll sit out. We’ll evaluate that and make a decision tomorrow.”
Both Hassan Whiteside and Zach Collins, who were limited to 20 minutes of action in Sunday’s scrimmage, had no lingering effects from Sunday’s contest as the two 7-footers look to get as close to 100 percent as possible ahead of Portland’s push for the playoffs.
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