Report: Blazers leaning toward shutting down Lillard
The Portland Trail Blazers are considering shutting down superstar Damian Lillard for the remainder of the season as he deals with a calf injury, sources told Shams Charania of The Athletic.
The Blazers have nine more regular season games on the slate and are three-and-a-half games back of the final Western Conference play-in spot.
Backup guard Ryan Arcidiacono stepped into the starting lineup for Lillard in Friday's 124-96 loss to the Chicago Bulls, and went scoreless in 22 minutes.
Portland currently has the sixth-best odds in the NBA draft lottery.
Blazers starting guard Anfernee Simons has missed the last two contests due to foot soreness, while forward Jerami Grant has missed five straight while dealing with a quad contusion. Neither player has a timetable to return.
Along with the other three starters, center Jusuf Nurkic missed Friday's game due to knee soreness.
Portland traded wing Josh Hart to the New York Knicks for Cam Reddish and a first-round pick at February's deadline, meaning that all five of the Blazers' opening-night starters are either out of the lineup or not on the team.
Lillard averaged a career-high 32.2 points in 58 games with the Blazers this season. The seven-time All-Star became the Blazers' all-time leading scorer on Dec. 21.
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