Damian Lillard's heroics this year has Portland miraculously in the playoff conversation. But Lillard's latest injury will be a big setback for a team with high aspirations.
The Blazers are currently 25-31, good for ninth place in the Western Conference standings. Portland is just four games out the No. 8 seed, currently held by the Memphis Grizzlies. Lillard has to be brilliant down the stretch of the regular season to lead his team to the playoffs.
But the star guard's latest injury could prove to be the nail in the coffin for the Blazers. Lillard is currently dealing with a right groin strain and is set to miss three or four games. Portland's next four contests come against the Pelicans, Pistons, Celtics and Pacers.
The Blazers, of course, don't want to risk any sort of long-term injury in regards to Lillard. But Portland will struggle to make a playoff push without him. Lillard's been one of the best players in the NBA this season.
With Lillard unavailable for the next little while, C.J. McCollum will have to step up.
Carmelo Anthony has also been a legitimate scoring threat and will have to take on some of the load Lillard leaves behind for the time being, too.
The Blazers are certainly hoping Lillard can return soon.