The Trail Blazers came into the season hoping to prove to Damian Lillard that it was worth it staying in Portland. But after a nightmarish first half of the season, things haven't gone according to plan.
They've lost four of their last five games, going just 4-14 in their last 18 games. Portland has tumbled all the way down to 12th in the Western Conference with no quick fix in sight.
With the Blazers' season in the proverbial toilet, there's been buzz around potentially shutting down Damian Lillard. The All-Star continues to deal with an abdominal injury that isn't going away, which prompted the troubling scenario to be posited to Blazers head coach Chauncey Billups.
Via Sean Highkin:
I asked Chauncey Billups if there's been any talk of shutting Damian Lillard down for an extended period of time since the ab injury isn't improving. He said they're going to have a meeting “soon” putting “all heads together” (presumably those two+Cronin) to talk that all through
That doesn't exactly sound like a ringing endorsement for Damian Lillard's health going forward. If the Blazers brass is headed for a discussion, then sounds like the idea of a shut down isn't outside the realm of possibility, nor would it be the worst idea in the world for a couple of reasons.
The Blazers could potentially tank and gain a high-end lottery pick by the end of the season that could become a valuable trade chip for next year while also allowing their star backcourt an extended period to heal. But is Damian Lillard still down to waste yet another season while on the wrong side of 30? That's the question that needs to be answered.