Portland Trail Blazers guards Damian Lillard (foot), C.J. McCollum (hand), and Allen Crabbe (foot) will all sit out of tonight’s matchup with the San Antonio Spurs, according to Trail Blazers digital reporter Casey Holdahl:
Damian Lillard (right foot strain), CJ McCollum (right hand strain), Allen Crabbe (left foot) are all OUT for tonight's game vs. Spurs.— Casey Holdahl (@CHold) April 10, 2017
Crabbe sat out the previous game and is dealing with left foot pain. These new injuries to Lillard and McCollum are perhaps legitimate, nagging concerns, but are also conveniently timed with the team clinching the 8-seed yesterday. Whether or not the franchise faces are actually too injured to play, rest will do them good before heading into a first round matchup with the Golden State Warriors.
It is also worth noting that the Trail Blazers could benefit from losing at this point. They cannot climb to the 7-seed, nor drop to nine, but they can move past the Chicago Bulls (39-41) and the Miami Heat (39-41) in the upcoming NBA draft by falling behind them in the overall standings. Conversely, finishing ahead of the Milwaukee Bucks (41-39) or Indiana Pacers (40-40) could hurt their draft position.
This is perhaps why Shabazz Napier, Pat Connaughton, Maurice Harkless, Noah Vonleh, and Meyers Leonard are listed as tonight’s starters.