Don’t look now, but it’s happening again. Last season, the Portland Trail Blazers were about as injury-plagued as any NBA team could get. Their ideal starting five — Andre Miller, Brandon Roy, Nicolas Batum, LaMarcus Aldridge and Greg Oden — averaged just 56 games played apiece over the 82-game schedule, bolstered in large part by Miller somehow staying upright for the entire season. Not to mention the Blazers also saw key reserves Joel Przybilla and Travis Outlaw suffer significant injuries, and it seemed coach Nate McMillan was rolling out patchwork lineups every night.
But the Blazers still scraped out a playoff berth in 2010, and going into this season will try to accelerate that momentum with a (relatively) healthy roster.
Today they took another hit, however, as second-year PF/C Jeff Pendergraph announced on Twitter that he will miss the season with a torn ACL. Pendergraph, a second-round draft pick who helped fill in for the Blazers’ multitude of frontcourt injuries last season, was in the starting lineup at center for last night’s game against Utah. He was only starting because Oden and Przybilla are not yet ready to go. Marcus Camby is also banged up, but playing through his groin injury.
After he got hurt, Pendergraph had to be taken off the court in a wheelchair.