Jason Quick: Blazers announce Lillard is out

More on Damian Lillard Injury

Despite the rolled ankle, noticeable discomfort, and around-the-clock treatment, Lillard seems determined to face the Sixers. Lillard, who did not participate in practice, said he is looking forward to the matchup. “I told y’all that yesterday,” Lillard said, referring to previously saying he planned on playing in Philadelphia. “I pretty much got babied last night so it was good…I feel good.”
Jason Quick: Blazers report that Damian Lillard has a right ankle sprain, but list him as probable to play Tuesday at Dallas.
"It feels way better, I went through a full speed workout with no limitations," said Lillard after Saturday's practice in Minneapolis. "I would have did our stuff with the group where we did some defensive stuff against a shell, not really full contact. I would have did that but I didn’t want to get in the way of any of the guys that’s going to be playing, so I stayed out of that. I did the shooting stuff before we did that, I did my own little workout at the end for the last 20 minutes or so, full speed normal stuff. It felt pretty good. Some stuff, it didn't hurt but I wasn’t really comfortable with it. It wasn’t completely comfortable, so just going to keep working out and keep working that swelling out, that soreness out, trying to get back. I’m not going to rush it, at this point I might as well wait until completely ready to go."
Yes, things moved from bad to worse Friday for the Blazers. The San Antonio Spurs rolled the Blazers 110-90 at the Moda Center, dealing them their fifth consecutive loss and ninth in the last 10 games. And on top of it all, the Blazers' best player limped away from the wreckage with a badly sprained left ankle. "I rolled it good, I know that for a fact," Lillard said. "I've just got to do all that I can so I can try to be ready for the next one."
As of right now, Lillard doesn’t sound like he’s still fully comfortable. Stiffness in the foot, after nearly two weeks of stretching and massages to get the foot right, and conditioning, more than soreness, are his main concerns. “I’m building my wind back,” Lillard said. “It’s just a little bit of stiffness because I haven’t made certain movements. For five years now I’ve been constantly doing this stuff every day. But two weeks of just stretches, massages and stuff like that. If I get back there it’s going to be a little stiff.”
Lillard said that he also worked out hard on the foot in a New Year’s evening workout with assistant coach David Vanterpool and guard Tim Frazier. “I’ve been working out hard on the court for a couple of days,” Lillard said. “Last night I came in and worked out hard on it. This is the second time I’ve practiced even though (this one had) more contact. It’s more about being on the floor. I haven’t played in almost two weeks now. I’m not just going to get out there a few times and bring something to the game.”
At this point, Lillard said, he's more concerned with regaining his playing stamina, which has taken a hit during his 11-day absence. Lillard said he will evaluate how his foot responds Sunday morning, test it during a morning shootaround and then make a pregame decision about whether he'll play when the Blazers visit the Denver Nuggets at 6 p.m. He said he would prefer not to be on a minutes-restriction whenever he returns and coach Terry Stotts said that will be decided by Lillard and the Blazers' medical staff. Could Lillard have played Thursday, when the Blazers lost to Utah? Probably. But he wants to make sure when he returns, he returns for good. "Once I'm back, I'm back," he said.
After missing the last four games and possibly more, Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard has a new nickname. “Coach Lillard, that’s what they call me now,” Lillard said following Tuesday’s practice where the two-time All-Star said he participated in some “live” drills but was still not a full participant. Whether Lillard has to embrace the suit and chatting up referees during timeouts instead of throughout the entire game is still an uncertain matter. The pain from an ongoing battle with plantar fasciitis is gone in his left foot, but Lillard is still waiting for the comfort to return. “It’s just a little bit stiff,” Lillard said after running on the left foot. “I haven’t played on it. I have been so busy trying to take care of it and do the right stuff that it’s a little bit stiff.”
Storyline: Damian Lillard Injury
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June 14, 2021 | 9:43 am EDT Update
“They’re really loaded on him,” Rivers said. “We showed him on film, the flow pass the bounce pass are the two areas where we’re going to need him to be great.” Harris’ scoring is still his calling card and the area that you look at first to cite his playoff improvement: Through eight games, he’s averaging 23.6 points per game on 60 percent true shooting this postseason compared to 15.8 points per game on 46 percent true shooting in last season’s sweep against Boston in the bubble. But especially on those backup units, teams might force Harris to be a distributor. In Game 3, he looked up to the challenge.
Rivers joked on Sunday about how he doesn’t like “football players” in basketball, emphasizing that you can’t rest on defense in basketball. For Korkmaz, who gets on the floor because of his shooting, the defensive side is where he is forced to work harder. “Furk is doing all the little things that are required out of him,” Rivers said. “We’re not asking him to be Ben. But we’re asking him to be a better version of himself defensively. And I think he’s doing that.”
But with the Nuggets’ season on the line, and their two best players — Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray — out (Jokic was ejected at the 3:52 mark of the third quarter due to a flagrant foul 2), Denver scored 43 points over roughly the final 16 minutes. The Suns suffered a bit of a defensive letdown. “We know when we’re not playing the type of defense that we need to be playing,” Devin Booker said after the game. “So we communicate that amongst each other, and we tell each other ‘It’s time to lock in.’ And that’s what we do. But we saw a different style of offense once Jokic went out. Them having JaVale (McGee) picking and rolling to the rim.
Both of them get it, that life is bigger despite being uber-competitive. Paul is known for his relentlessness on the court that borders on maniacal. But even when he was going through his shoulder issues, he kept making it clear people are going through worse and he’d be fine. “To be on this journey with him and to see it paying off is nice,” Paul said. “We’re a lot alike. We stay locked in. I don’t feel good until the buzzer sounds. Mont’s the same way. When the series is over, and the game is over, it’s nice to share those moments.”

Former Celtic Glen Davis on Kyrie Irving's injury: 'Karma is real'

Davis, a member of the Celtics’ 2008 championship-winning squad, had some thoughts on the injury. In an Instagram reply, Davis seemed to imply that it was a result of basketball karma after Irving stomped on Boston’s center court logo earlier in the playoffs. “Karma is real. Energy is real no matter what you guys say,” Davis said in another IG comment. “That logo means something negative or positive. Ky wished that on hisself (sic). Energy is real, always have respect for other no matter if its (sic) a logo are (sic) not.”
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June 14, 2021 | 8:27 am EDT Update

Stephen Curry on joining Team USA: 'I'm literally 50-50'

A gold medal is one thing missing from his resume, but he said he has yet to make up his mind. He continues to look at the logistics of playing in Tokyo. He is curious to learn which other players are planning to go and to see how strong the team will be. “I’m literally 50-50,” he said of his decision. “I probably need to decide in the next two weeks.”
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