Things already didn’t look great for the Portland Trail Blazers as they trailed by 30 in the third quarter of their loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night, and then they saw something no one wanted to see: NBA Bubble MVP Damian Lillard wincing and holding his hand after it made contact with Anthony Davis’ foot on a screen. Lillard immediately asked to be subbed out, and left the court and walked down a hallway exit after angrily throwing a towel on the sidelines.
The Blazers announced shortly afterwards that Lillard had dislocated his left index finger, and that an X-ray on the digit was negative for any breaks. He was ruled out for the rest of the game, and his status moving forward is unknown. Lillard watched the fourth quarter from the bench with a splint on his fingers.
Damian Lillard: “I’m playing.”— Sean Highkin (@highkin) August 21, 2020
“It’s just sore. A little bit tender to the touch.. A little bit swollen and uncomfortable.” — Lillard postgame— Jamie Hudson (@JamieHudsonNBCS) August 21, 2020
Blazers coach Terry Stotts on Damian Lillard’s availability for Game 3 vs. Lakers after dislocating finger: “It’s too early to tell.” pic.twitter.com/yfCA9rdOcO— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) August 21, 2020
If Lillard does miss any games or is limited, that would obviously be a significant development in this series. Lillard’s explosive scoring in the NBA restart has been the engine that’s fueled Portland’s run so far, and there is no one on their roster that could even come close to replacing what he gives his team.
But given how tough Lillard is (and that teammate C.J. McCollum is literally playing through a broken back), it seems unlikely that an injury to his non-shooting hand will sideline him for any significant length of time. And hopefully he is all right, because as much as every Lakers fan surely wants to win this series, no one wants to win it against a Blazers team at less than full strength.
Get well soon, Dame.