It was announced today by the Blazers that F LaMarcus Aldridge and C Meyers Leonard will miss extended periods of time with injury.
Aldridge, who is expected to miss at least one week, is still nursing a strained groin he suffered on February 8 in a 117-110 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves. He missed the entire fourth quarter of that game. After the one week is up, Aldridge will be re-evaluated. Leonard is expected to miss 2-3 weeks with a sprained ankle that he suffered today in practice.
These injuries leave the Blazers’ front line very weak. The only true healthy “big men” the Blazers have left are C Robin Lopez and F Thomas Robinson (note: Blazers F Joel Freeland will also miss the next 3-5 weeks with a sprained MCL). That being said, the NBA Trade Deadline is upon us, as teams are required to make all trades final by 3 pm EST on Thursday. While it was suspected that Blazers GM Neil Olshey would not make a move before the deadline, at this point, it would not be ill-advised for Olshey to shop the market for another big man. Regardless of whether Olshey makes a deal, Blazers fans should expect to see lots of “small ball” for the next week.
Within the week that Aldridge will miss, the Blazers will play four games, three of which will be played in Portland. The Blazers will face the San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz, and Minnesota Timberwolves, all at home, before heading to Denver to play the Nuggets. Of these teams, the Jazz are the only one without a legit big man. Regardless, all games will be difficult to win (I’m looking at you, Minnesota).
Stay tuned to Blazers World for any updates on Aldridge and Leonard’s injury status.
Until next time,