When Nassir Little appeared on the injury report before Portland's final seeding game against the Brooklyn Nets, it came as a surprise. What was even more confusing was the diagnosis of dehydration.
Then, he would be ruled out of the play-in game against Memphis and Game 1 against the Los Angeles Lakers, again due to dehydration.
Tuesday morning, the Trail Blazers provided some clarity, stating that Little suffered a syncopal episode on August 12th while attending optional shooting at the NBA restart in Orlando. A syncopal episode, in layman's terms, means he fainted.
Little was diagnosed with dehydration and further tests have been negative.
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Little will remain with the team in Orlando and undergo precautionary health monitoring for two weeks. His status will be updated at that time.
Therefore, Little will miss all of the Trail Blazers' series against Los Angeles but could return in the Western Conference Semifinals, in theory.
While he hasn't been in Portland's rotation during the restart, he may have gotten some playing time against the Lakers at some point while the Blazers try to slow down LeBron James. While Little is a rookie, at 6'5" with a 7'2" wingspan and 220 pounds, he's one of the few players on the active roster that has the physical tools to guard wing players.
Now, the Blazers will likely rely on Carmelo Anthony, Wenyen Gabriel, and Gary Trent Jr. to defend James.
In 48 regular-season games, Little 3.6 points and 2.3 rebounds per game in 11.9 minutes while shooting 43% from the field and 23.7% from beyond the arc.
The Blazers face the Lakers in Game 1 of their Western Conference Playoff Series on Tuesday, August 18 at 6:00 p.m. on NBC Sports NW.