Portland Trail Blazers Rule Out 6 for Sunday''s Matchup With Oklahoma City Thunder

The Portland Trail Blazers have all but waved the white flag for Sunday's showdown with the Oklahoma City Thunder. The team declared via the NBA Injury Report that Damian Lillard, Jerami Grant, Jusuf Nurkic, Justise Winslow, and Anferness Simons will all sit with various ailments. Lillard, Grant, and Simons are the team's three leading scorers, while Winslow and Nurkic are tied for seventh on the roster in minutes played per game 26.8. Lillard's 32.2 points per game are third in the league. Given that Sunday is the first game of a back-to-back, the Trail Blazers are likely simply playing it safe in what is ultimately a meaningless game.

The Trail Blazers are 32-41 and 13th in the Western Conference; it's possible they've surmised that it's time to close up shop. Rumors that the team intends to shut down Lillard have already begun to circulate. They're closer to nabbing a potentially franchise-altering draft pick than they are to making a credible postseason run. If their goal is long-term competitiveness, it's time to begin looking to next year.

The Trail Blazers will be back in action Monday against the New Orleans Pelicans.

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