Trail Blazers

Anfernee Simons takes a page from Damian Lillard's book as he fights through nagging injuries

Trail Blazers

From major injuries to minor ones and everything in between-- the Portland Trail Blazers can’t catch a break when it comes to the injury front.

On Tuesday, the Blazers entered the night with five players out due to injuries. 

Still, they were able to put together an impressive overall team effort, which led to a 132-121 win over the Washington Wizards.

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After the game, Portland head coach Terry Stotts explained how important it was to get so many contributions from role players and how valuable it was to have Rodney Hood step in as a facilitator especially since Anfernee Simons "aggravated his hamstring."  

 

Simons was limited to less than 15 minutes because of it, paving the way for CJ Elleby to see the court briefly in the second quarter.

But Simons continued to play through the pain in the second half, finishing with three points and two rebounds in 14 minutes of action.

It wasn’t until the Blazers rookie entered the game that Damian Lillard was clued in about Simons’ hamstring issue.

“I didn’t even know until, [Coach] just let us know, ‘Okay, the rotation is going to look different.’”  

Lillard explained, “I remember during a timeout I went up to Ant and I was like, ‘You good?’ And he was like, ‘Yeah, I’m good,’ and I was like, ‘Well, then you need to go and say something. You need to go say I feel and I can play,’ because we are dealing with stuff."

Obviously, you want to be smart, but if you feel comfortable enough to play then you need to speak up and say that.

Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard

The Blazers can’t afford anyone else to sit out.

Lillard also mentioned that several players are dealing with nagging injuries at this point in the season.

Himself included.

Lillard divulged that since his fifth year in the league he has dealt with an abdominal issue.

The Trail Blazers All-Star said that it has flared up over the past week.

It just locks up and tightens up and then it’s hard to move. Usually it’s like a massage and cold tub, a lot of activation stuff that I do, but usually it happens in the preseason.

Damian Lillard

With Lillard not feeling like he’s able to get downhill as well and Simons dealing with the hamstring issue, the injury bug has taken a big bite out of the Blazers.

But it’s also affected the league as a whole.

With a shortened offseason, training camp coupled with not really being able to train properly due to the ongoing pandemic and no pick-up games in the offseason, the injuries have been one of the biggest storylines of the 2020-21 season.

 

But if Tuesday’s win is any indication of how this squad is not just going to roll over, the Blazers will continue to fight through adversity as they continue to receive treatment for all the nagging injuries.