Portland Trail Blazers center Hassan Whiteside is probable for Monday night's game against the Chicago Bulls after missing the two games due to a hip injury, according to Jason Quick of The Athletic:
Blazers say Hassan Whiteside (hip) is probable and Gary Trent Jr. (Right hamstring strain) is questionable for Monday’s game at Chicago
— Jason Quick (@jwquick) November 24, 2019
The Trail Blazers will gladly welcome Whiteside back into the fold after dropping both games in his absence. Portland has now lost four straight after falling to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday.
While guys like Damian Lillard and Rodney Hood have had efficient showings, the Trial Blazers have been routinely dominated inside.
Portland got outrebounded 51-38 against the Cavaliers and failed to command the paint. They were also dominated on the glass (58-41) against the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday.
Of course, Whiteside is the best rebounder on this Trail Blazers team. He is averaging 12.0 rebounds through his first 14 games, and he gives Portland a number of second chance opportunities at nearly four offensive rebounds per game.
The Trail Blazers cannot afford to sustain too many injuries to the frontcourt due to the prolonged absences of both Zach Collins and Jusuf Nurkic. Recent signing Carmelo Anthony has been forced into playing as an undersized power forward, and Anthony is nowhere near the same kind of rim protector as Whiteside, who was averaging 1.8 blocks per game prior to the injury.
Will Whiteside's return help galvanize this roster? Portland is currently 14th in the Western Conference, but they are just 3.5 games out of a playoff spot.
There is still a long way to go, but the Trail Blazers need Whiteside to get back to form in a hurry if they hope to stay within striking distance.