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Report: Blazers shut down Damian Lillard with playoffs out of reach

The star guard won’t appear in games for the rest of this season.

Chicago Bulls v Portland Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers watches from the bench during the second half against the Chicago Bulls at Moda Center on March 24, 2023 in Portland, Oregon.
Photo by Soobum Im/Getty Images

The Portland Trail Blazers are officially shutting down star guard Damian Lillard with the postseason out of reach, according to Chris Haynes. The team was contemplating shutting Lillard down for a while now and will finally make the move.

It’s a rough ending to the season for Lillard, who has been brilliant when he’s on the court. He’s averaging 32.3 points and 7.3 assists per game, although the number of games he played might prevent him from making one of the three All-NBA teams.

The other reason this was a disappointing campaign all around was Portland was the effort to surround the franchise guard with enough talent to make the playoffs. Jerami Grant, Jusuf Nurkic and Anfernee Simons all took steps forward but were injured for significant stretches of the season. Rookie Shaedon Sharpe, who is sure to get plenty of playing time for the rest of the regular season, didn’t make enough of an impact to help out that core group.

The Trail Blazers will go back to the drawing board this offseason, hoping to surround Lillard with enough to give him a chance at the postseason in 2023-24.