Things couldn’t get much worse for the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday night. Not only did the Los Angeles Lakers absolutely blow them out of the water in Game 2 of their first-round series, but star point guard Damian Lillard suffered a dislocated left index finger, the team announced. The X-rays came back negative in what might be the only good news of the night for Portland. Blazers coach Terry Stotts told reporters that it’s “too early to tell” whether Lillard will play in Game 3, but the team is optimistic, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
The injury occurred in the third quarter. Lillard was trying to steal the ball from Lakers big man Anthony Davis when it seemed like he might have jammed a finger. He immediately left the game and went to the locker room, but not before throwing a towel at a screen in anger.
Lillard had a frustrating game even before the injury. He scored only 18 points on 6-of-14 shooting as the stifling Laker defense did everything in its power to keep him from shooting. Even so, the Blazers held a 1-0 series lead entering Thursday, and splitting the first two games against a No. 1 seed is still a desirable outcome. All things considered, the Blazers are in decent shape in the series.
That changes if Lillard, the unanimous bubble MVP, can’t play or is compromised in Game 3. The Blazers don’t have a wide margin for error. They reached the postseason because Lillard was the best player in the bubble. If he is anything less than that, this series will be as lopsided as Game 2 was.