UPDATE: Aug. 25, 4:42 p.m. — Lillard has been ruled out for Game 5 of the first round against the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday due to a knee sprain. This should effectively squash any chances of the Blazers coming back down 3-1 in the series. It’s a tough way for Portland to — most likely — end the season. Lillard gave his all to get the Blazers into the playoffs.
Damian Lillard has a "right knee sprain" and is out for Game 5.— Casey Holdahl (@CHold) August 25, 2020
So with Dame out for Game 5, where do the Blazers turn? CJ McCollum will be a very popular play on DraftKings. Jusuf Nurkic will need to step up as well as Carmelo Anthony. Gary Trent Jr. likely slots into the starting lineup at SG with CJ moving to PG. So the starters will likely be CJ, Trent, Melo, Whiteside and Nurk.
As for value, Trent and Anfernee Simons are the guys who will play more minutes as a result of Dame being out. Trent played 34 minutes and Simons played 25 minutes in Game 4. We even had a Jaylen Adams sighting off the bench. Adams would be more of a punt play if you think Game 5 will be another blowout.
UPDATE: Blazers coach Terry Stotts said there was no update on Lillard’s knee after the game. He also doesn’t expect one to come until tonight.
No update from Terry Stotts re: Damian Lillard and I'd be a bit surprised if one came tonight— Casey Holdahl (@CHold) August 25, 2020
UPDATE: Dame is going for an MRI on his knee, per Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes.
Yahoo Sources: Portland star Damian Lillard is undergoing an MRI on his right knee.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) August 25, 2020
Damian Lillard (right knee injury) will not return.— Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) August 25, 2020
We don’t have many details on this injury for Dame or how severe it might be. Hopefully it’s just a precaution with the Blazers down big in the third quarter. Lillard will finish the game with 11 points and 4 assists in 27 minutes. Portland’s season rests in the hands of Carmelo Anthony, CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic the rest of the game. The Blazers will have a tough time coming back without Dame and down 3-1 in the series — if Lillard should miss time.
Gary Trent Jr. is also a candidate to see more minutes the rest of the game. Anthony Davis left early for the Lakers, so that could help the Blazers down low if they want to try and mount a comeback. It’ll be tough doing so without their All-Star point guard, however.
The Blazers won’t be doing any coming back on Monday night. The team is down 26 in the fourth and has seemed to have thrown in the towel. So it looks like L.A. will take a commanding 3-1 lead in the series. We’re still waiting on word on Dame’s status, we’ll update you as soon as we get more info.