The Portland Trail Blazers had delays getting out of the city for their game Thursday evening against the Sacramento Kings, and that has apparently taken too much of a toll on their key players. Portland has ruled Damian Lillard and Jerami Grant out due to rest, because the All-Star break was apparently not enough for either player.
From Blazers PR:— James Ham (@James_HamNBA) February 23, 2023
INJURY UPDATE: Jerami Grant (Rest) and Damian Lillard (Rest) are both OUT for tonight’s game @ SAC.
The Trail Blazers are now down four starters, with Anfernee Simons and Jusuf Nurkic tending to long-term injuries. Portland will likely run Shaedon Sharpe, Matisse Thybulle, Cam Reddish, Nassir Little and Drew Eubanks as its starting lineup. The Blazers have become 11-point underdogs at DraftKings Sportsbook against Sacramento, and it might be worth taking the Kings despite that massive spread.
The NBA will surely look into this matter, as Lillard wasn’t actually tending to any injuries after Sunday’s All-Star Game and was set to play in this contest for most of Thursday. Getting a rest day here and there is fine and players do need it, but immediately after a three-day break? This is a bit much, even in today’s load management era.