As Game 2 of the Portland Trail Blazers-Memphis Grizzlies series approaches, all eyes are on Blazers shooting guard Arron Afflalo. Sidelined with a strained shoulder for the final week of the regular season and first game of the playoffs, Afflalo is expected to make his return to the lineup at any time. CSNNW and Jabari Young offer these tweets:
Afflalo is putting in some very hard work pregame, though the strain in his right shoulder is still very apparent, limiting #RipCity— CSNNW (@CSNNW) April 22, 2015
Sounds like Afflalo is a game-time decision, if not in terms of participation, at least in terms of minutes and role. Personally I'm not sure that fielding a player with limited motion, and thus limited effect, would do the Blazers much good. If Afflalo is having trouble getting enough mustard behind his shot to shoot deep, the Grizzlies know how to defend him. If he's going in for a layup or rebound, his shoulder makes a tempting target for a jostle or a hard blocked shot. The Blazers don't just need Afflalo to play, they need him to play well.
We'll bring you any updates as they come in.