It sounds like the Trail Blazers may once again use a small-ball lineup in their next matchup Wednesday night on the road against the Sacramento Kings.
After Jusuf Nurkic subbed out of Monday’s game versus the Toronto Raptors at Moda Center with 3:14 reaming in the first quarter, Nurkic headed straight to the locker room and did not return to the game.
The team later announced that he had suffered a left quad contusion.
Tuesday while the Trail Blazers practiced before heading for the airport, Nurkic received treatment on his quad.
The Blazers have listed him as questionable for Wednesday's game, while Damian Lillard is probable with a right ankle sprain.
Following Tuesday’s practice, Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts gave the latest update on Portland’s starting center.
With no Nurkic, the Blazers opted to play small in the second half of Monday’s win with Robert Covington and Carmelo Anthony down low since the Raptors went small with no Alex Len or Aron Baynes. in the second half.
Moving forward, the usage of Portland’s small-ball unit will most likely depend on matchups.
Coach Stotts discussed what went through his mind when Nurk went out.
“My first thought is how serious is it for him,” Stotts said following Monday’s victory. “My first thought is my concern for him and the extent of the injury, but after that -- for a game like this where I knew they like playing a small lineup…. I knew there was a chance that we were going to play RoCo or Melo at the five anyway.”
Tuesday, Stotts also gave an update on Lillard’s tweaked right ankle.
“It’s still sore. He got some shots up today. Obviously, he got some treatment as well,” Stotts said. “It was sore last night, but I think it’s better today.”
Lillard appeared to tweak the ankle early in the first quarter, but remained in the game, finishing with 23 points on 8-of-16 shooting to go along with five assists.
He talked about the pain he initially felt postgame.
"It was really sore when I did it," explained Lillard. "I almost asked for a sub when I first did it because it shot up my leg. But I ran up and down the court a few times and I was just waiting to see... how stiff or how painful it would get. And once I felt it and I saw how it felt when I was cutting and I was running at full speed and stopping and jumping, I knew it was going to be painful, especially after the game, but it wasn't unbearable."
We will see how the ankle is holding up Wednesday night when the Blazers take on the Kings. Portland and Sacramento tip-off at 7:00p.m. on NBCSNW, the official network of Portland Trail Blazers.