Stop if you’ve heard this before: A promising Portland Trail Blazer is facing another in a series of injuries, crippling a potential once thought to be sky-high. Yes, the injury cycle has returned to Portland, this time with third-year guard Elliot Williams. The former Memphis guard and 22nd pick of the 2010 NBA Draft has had fans quietly murmuring about his leaping dating back to his rookie season, and late last year his limited playing time was showing signs for optimism in his all-around game, too.
To be fair, the Blazers would have been hard-pressed to guard against Williams’ Achilles tendon injury, which he injured Tuesday during voluntary workouts, The Oregonian reported. As a rookie, surgeries on both his knees knocked him out the entire season. Last spring, once he dislocated his shoulder 24 games into the season in March, an injury he had recovered from only late this summer. That’s 24 of a possible 148 games in his career he’s played in. Only in Portland, where Greg Oden, Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge‘s spate of injuries (Aldridge less so, though it was a heart condition) have put every fan on a hair trigger, could a player’s three completely different injuries nonetheless confirm the team’s snake-bitten culture.
What had Northwest fans cautiously excited about Williams was his quick, but efficient, trigger. He’d scored 21.3 points per 36 minutes on 50 percent shooting. His best game was Feb. 21 against San Antonio, when he scored 17 points in 17 minutes on 7-of-10 shooting from the floor. His three-point shooting, at just under 30 percent, was underwhelming but his slashing could look like the best on the team from the perimeter in his few glimpses. Achilles injuries are nasty things to return from; the severity of Williams’ injury isn’t known but even a partial tear could leave him out until the neighborhood of the holidays. If it’s worse, it’s another lost season for a young standout in Portland.
H/t The Oregonian
Is this injury an outlier or part of Portland’s pattern?
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