Mar 27, 2014, 1:26 PM EDT
The Trail Blazers need LaMarcus Aldridge back.
Portland is 3-8 in their last 11 and lost to lowly Orlando on Tuesday. They have slid down to fifth in the Western Conference, given up home court in the first round, and now find themselves just two games ahead of nine seed Dallas (tied with 8 seed Phoenix) and the possibility of sliding out of the playoffs completely.
Portland need’s it’s All-Star power forward — and they will get him back Thursday night against Atlanta reports Chris Haynes at CSNNW.com.
“I’m going,” Aldridge said after shootaround Thursday. “We’ll see how it goes, but I’m going.”
Aldridge missed seven games after a hard fall on his back in a game against the Spurs. What kept him out longer than expected? It hurt to run.
“It’s (running) still not normal but hopefully by tonight, I’ll be used to it or I’ll be fine,” he said. “We’ll see what happens tonight or how I’ll look.”
It hasn’t been one thing during Portland’s slide, both their offense and defense have struggled. Aldridge and his 23.4 points and 11.1 rebounds a game, his floor spacing on offense and solid play on defense, can help change that.
Announcement: Pro Basketball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $55,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Thursday night’s games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $7,000. Starts at 7:30pm ET on Thursday. Here’s the FanDuel link.
Portland has 10 games left, four on the road (including the Hawks Thursday) and five against teams over .500. Not a tough schedule, you would think Portland could hold on to its playoff spot. Getting Aldridge back makes that much more likely.
- Q&A: Corey Brewer on trade from Timberwolves, his 51-point game, Harden’s MVP case, Rockets vs. Mavericks 0
- PBT First Round Playoff Previews: Los Angeles Clippers vs. San Antonio Spurs 6
- Why the 2015 NBA playoffs feel wide open – but probably shouldn’t 3
- PBT Extra: Houston, Dallas simply do not like each other 3
- Sounds like Pacers president Larry Bird, head coach Frank Vogel don’t want Roy Hibbert back next year 21
- PBT staff playoff predictions: Lots of Golden State love from us 1
- PBT Extra: Injuries make Grizzlies, Trail Blazers series hard to predict 3
- PBT Extra: Will Spurs depth, versatility prove too much for Clippers? 10