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Chauncey Billups Says The Blazers May Give Damian Lillard An Extended Break If His Abdominal Injury Doesn’t Improve

The 2021-22 season hasn’t been incredibly kind to the Portland Trail Blazers, and things might get even more challenging for Chauncey Billups and company in the near future. On Tuesday, Billups addressed the media and discussed the status of superstar guard Damian Lillard, who missed Portland’s win over Atlanta on Monday with abdominal tendinopathy. Lillard previously missed a five-game stretch in November and December with the ailment and, while his individual numbers have improved, this recent hiccup has prompted discussions of a potential break from on-court action.

While the Blazers are not completely out of contention at 14-22, it would be fair to suggest that Portland isn’t a title contender this season. From there, the 31-year-old Lillard has his worst individual statistics since 2014-15, averaging 24 points and 7.3 assists per game while shooting only 40.2 percent from the floor and 32.4 percent from three-point range. It’s also worth mentioning that Portland’s first-round pick in the 2022 NBA Draft is lottery protected, but if they finish outside of the lottery, it goes to Chicago.

Even in his weakened state, Lillard is Portland’s centerpiece and best player, but the abdominal injury has posed lingering problems for the veteran point guard. Clearly, the medical evaluation is something that can’t be fully understood from the outside but, if the team believes that an extended hiatus would help Lillard to fully recover, it does make sense to take course of action. Nothing is official at this juncture, but the Blazers have already ruled Lillard out for the team’s home game against Miami on Wednesday, and it is possible Lillard won’t return to the floor for a while.

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