The Portland Trail Blazers face a steep hill to climb if they want to make it to the playoffs this season.
After losing six straight games and eight of their last 10, the Blazers sit 3.5 games behind the Los Angeles Lakers for the final play-in spot with 11 games left in the season.
The Blazers still have a microscopic shot at the postseason, but Damian Lillard is accepting the team’s current reality that their chance is slipping through their fingers.
“We pretty much fallen out of the race for the 10th spot,” Lillard said after Sunday’s loss. “I love to play, I love the competition and I haven’t been ready to give that up. But it does come a point in time when do you stop putting your competitive nature out front.”
The comments come days after NBA insider Chris Haynes said on the latest episode of the #ThisLeague UNCUT podcast that the Blazers could shut down Lillard in if wins don’t start coming.
“Dame probably has five or six more games left before Portland probably shuts him down for the season,” Haynes said. “There’s no use playing the duration of these games. So look out for that. If these next five, six games, they keep struggling, I will suspect...”
Since those comments, the Blazers are 0-2 and don’t appear to be improving. The more the Blazers continue to struggle, the less likely it is that we’ll see Lillard in the final games of the season.