PORTLAND, Ore. — The Portland Trail Blazers dispatched the Sacramento Kings, 103-98, on Sunday night at the Moda Center in a game without Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum or Norman Powell. Anfernee Simons had 31 points, Jusuf Nurkic came up one assist shy of a triple-double and the Kings did their part by being pathetic. It was a nice win for a team that hasn't had many of them in a while.
News broke before tip-off Sunday that suggests the shorthanded Blazers might be shorthanded for a while longer and perhaps even the remainder of the season. Chauncey Billups said pregame that Lillard will not accompany the Blazers on an upcoming six-game road trip and instead will go see specialists to discuss his season-long abdominal issue. Lillard could opt for surgery or perhaps just shut it down for the remainder of the season as the Blazers head towards a lottery pick as they slip further from the playoff picture.
If the Blazers are headed for an official tank job and away from the current unofficial tank job, how should fans watch a team that isn't trying to winning? Hint: It's all about Simons and Nassir Little.
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About Locked On Blazers
Mike Richman has covered the Portland Trail Blazers in various capacities since 2014 as a beat writer for The Oregonian, a reporter at NBC Sports Northwest and now in the form of the only daily Trail Blazers podcast, Locked On Blazers. The Pass First Point Guard will get you closer to the team with reports from inside the Moda Center and by unpacking the statistics to know and about your favorite team. You will also find regular guests and can get your questions answered with weekly mailbag shows.
Locked On Blazers is the best way to stay up to date on the latest happenings in the Portland basketball world. It’s available wherever you get podcasts and on YouTube with new shows every weekday.