Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard and forward Jerami Grant are active for Sunday’s game against the Houston Rockets, according to Sean Highkin of The Rose Garden Report. Both Lillard and Grant sat out for rest purposes against the Sacramento Kings on Thursday.
Chauncey Billups says Damian Lillard and Jerami Grant will be active and playing tomorrow vs. Houston.
This comes as no surprise. It was widely speculated that Lillard and Grant were rested due to the team’s suboptimal travel situation. The Trail Blazers spent seven hours aboard a plane for a flight that was eventually cancelled due to a winter storm, before driving home in bumper-to-bumper traffic and catching a late flight the next day.
Some members of the national media conjectured that Portland’s last-minute lineup change on Thursday signaled blatant tanking, though Lillard would make it clear on Twitter that this is not the case.
Now well-rested and playing at home, both Lillard and Grant are ready to go. The same cannot be said for center Jusuf Nurkic (calf), guard Anfernee Simons (ankle), and forward Justise Winslow (ankle), who are progressing but are not yet ready to return from injury.
The Trail Blazers currently occupy the No. 12 spot in the Western Conference standings with a record of 28-31. While this is less than ideal, the conference is exceptionally close. Portland is only three games behind the No. 6 Dallas Mavericks (32-29). The Rockets, clinging tightly to last place, represent an opportunity for the Trail Blazers to get back on track.