Portland’s postseason hopes have been diminished in each of the past two seasons due to critical injuries to players in its frontcourt. Once again this year, the Trail Blazers have seen their ‘bigs’ go down with injuries.
With Zach Collins and Jusuf Nurkic already out for an extended period of time, Terry Stotts’s team got even worse news Monday when the team revealed that CJ McCollum will miss at least the next four weeks with a hairline fracture in his left foot.
Damian Lillard and McCollum give the Trail Blazers one of the best 1-2 punches in the entire NBA. That’s been especially true this year with McCollum producing career-best numbers:
Going into Tuesday’s games, Portland (8-6 straight up, 6-8 against the spread) is currently in a fifth-place tie with San Antonio in the Western Conference standings. Without McCollum last night at home, the Spurs outscored the Trail Blazers 38-22 in the fourth quarter en route to a 125-104 win as 1.5-point road favorites.
Nurkic sustained a fractured wrist last week that’s expected to keep him out until mid-March. In his team’s first 12 games, Nurkic was averaging 9.8 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 0.9 steals and 0.9 blocked shots per game. Stotts was limiting his minutes to only 23.3 per game.
Nurkic missed the playoffs two seasons ago when he went down with a late-season injury. During that 2018-19 campaign, Nurkic was averaging 15.6 points, 10.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.4 blocked shots and 1.0 SPG.
He wasn’t able to return to the court until the restart in Orlando. In those eight regular-season games, Nurkic averaged 17.6 points, 10.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 2.0 blocked shots and 1.4 SPG.
In addition to the stats you saw in the last tweet above, McCollum was also averaging 3.9 rebounds and 1.3 SPG while draining 84.4 percent of his FTAs.
DraftKings currently has Portland with 40/1 odds to win the NBA title.