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Trail Blazers Play .500 Ball Without Damian Lillard

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Portland may not be able to handle an extended absence, but as Raymond Simms points out, in short bursts it’s been same-old, same-old.

NBA: Denver Nuggets at Portland Trail Blazers Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Damian Lillard is the captain, lead scorer, and face of the Portland Trail Blazers franchise. But in an article today for HoopsHabit.com, Raymond Simms points out that the Blazers have fared well enough when injury has forced Lillard into street clothes, compiling an 8-8 record without their star guard. That .500 mark is not far shy of their .541 overall regular season record in Lillard’s 5.5 seasons with the team.

Obviously the sample size of games without Lillard is vanishingly small compared to the overall slate. Even Simms admits, “It’s hard to imagine the Blazers doing well over an extended period of time without Lillard.” But during short spurts, they’ve been able to carry on at about the same pace—hardly remarkable, but not a disaster either.

Simms’ article runs down the history of Lillard injuries, plus Portland’s recent two games without him against the Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Lakers.

The Blazers face the Philadelphia 76ers tonight at 7:30 PM, Pacific in a game televised on TNT. Lillard has been listed as questionable for that game.