Player News - Trail Blazers

Date: Team: Pos:

Meyers Leonard (illness) isn't on the injury report for Friday's game vs. Orlando.

Jusuf Nurkic (ankle) is questionable for Friday, but if he can't suit up Leonard should slot into a 15-20 minute role. With Zach Collins and Ed Davis also in the mix at center, there's been no clear-cut winner in Nurk's absence.
Dec 14 - 3:39 PM

Jusuf Nurkic (sprained right ankle) has been upgraded to questionable for Friday's game vs. Orlando.

The Blazers had been ruling Nurk out a day in advance for the past few games, so this is a very promising step. Meyers Leonard (illness) isn't even on the injury report, so he'll be available, which will cut into the playing time of Zach Collins and Ed Davis regardless of Nurk's status. Check back after Friday's shootaround for another update.
Dec 14 - 3:37 PM

The Blazers snapped a five-game losing streak in Miami on Wednesday, led by C.J. McCollum's 28 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals.

C.J. sank 9-of-16 shots and 7-of-7 free throws in 41 minutes of action, and he's scorching the nets over Portland's past three games with combined 28-of-51 shooting (54.9 percent). He's dipped from last season in scoring (21.0 points), FG percentage (45.1%, down from 48.0%) and assists (2.7, down from 3.6), but that hasn't stopped him from returning top-40 value.
Dec 14 - 12:30 AM

Al-Farouq Aminu recorded his second double-double of the season on Wednesday with 15 points and 13 rebounds in 37 minutes of action.

Aminu hit 5-of-10 shots with all of his makes coming from downtown, and he's now made 15 triples in the Blazers' past four games. High-volume perimeter shooting, combined with Aminu's knack for rebounds and defensive stats, makes him a solid addition to most fantasy rosters.
Dec 14 - 12:29 AM

Ed Davis stepped up on Wednesday, playing a season-high 26 minutes to finish with 11 points (4-of-6 FGs, 3-of-3 FTs), five rebounds and one steal.

Jusuf Nurkic (ankle) was ruled out well in advance of this game, which usually indicates that more DNPs are coming, but we'll consider him questionable for games on Friday (at Orlando) and Saturday (at Charlotte). Davis earned more minutes because Meyers Leonard (illness) was also out and Portland needed to counter Bam Adebayo's inside presence, so don't read too much into tonight's playing time.
Dec 14 - 12:29 AM

Damian Lillard made 5-of-14 FGs and 7-of-7 FTs to score 18 points on Wednesday, adding six assists, three rebounds and one 3-pointer in 37 minutes.

Dame did appear to tweak his right foot/ankle tonight, which was already "a little sore" before he dropped 39 points vs. the Warriors on Monday. He's no stranger to playing hurt and has yet to miss a game this season, but we'll keep an eye on him for Friday's game in Orlando. Barring a pessimistic update, though, he belongs in every active lineup.
Dec 14 - 12:28 AM

Shabazz Napier was back in the Blazers' rotation on Wednesday, scoring nine points on 4-of-7 shooting with three steals, one rebound, one assist and one 3-pointer in 23 minutes.

Napier was coming off two straight DNP-CDs, and lately it's been Pat Connaughton (10 minutes) earning playing time when the Blazers go with smaller lineups. This has all the hallmarks of a matchup-specific move by coach Terry Stotts, making Napier impossible to trust while the Blazers' starting backcourt is healthy.
Dec 14 - 12:27 AM

Moe Harkless (quad) returned to action on Wednesday but played only nine minutes, going scoreless with two assists, one rebound and one steal.

Harkless missed the past two games, but even before the injury his role was barely worth monitoring -- he averaged 7.7 minutes in his previous three games. He hasn't scored double-digit points in a game since Oct. 28 and there's no reason to own him anywhere while guys like Al-Farouq Aminu, Evan Turner and Pat Connaughton are all healthy.
Dec 14 - 12:27 AM

Zach Collins earned his first NBA start on Wednesday and finished with nine points (4-of-9 FGs, 1-of-4 FTs), three rebounds and one block in 21 minutes

Jusuf Nurkic (ankle) was out tonight, while Meyers Leonard (illness) never left the bench, so coach Terry Stotts put his trust in the Blazers' lottery pick. This is the fourth time all season that Collins has logged double-digit minutes, and his role will likely evaporate once Nurkic is healthy, so this is just something to file away in deep leagues.
Dec 14 - 12:26 AM

Meyers Leonard (illness) didn't play vs. Miami on Wednesday.

Leonard said that he was available in case of "emergency," but didn't feel capable of playing a big role due to the illness, which left him dehydrated and exhausted. We'll consider him questionable for consecutive games this weekend vs. the Magic (Friday) and Hornets (Saturday).
Dec 14 - 12:26 AM

Zach Collins will start against the Heat on Wednesday.

Meyers Leonard (illness) is not expected to play and Jusuf Nurkic (ankle) is out, so Collins gets his first NBA start. He was playing minutes at both big spots on Saturday and Monday, so expect him to be more of a straight five in this game. He should be looking at minutes in the 23-30 range and is on the board as a DFS punt.
Dec 13 - 7:06 PM

Meyers Leonard (illness) said he will only play in case of "emergency" on Wednesday.

Leonard told beat writer Jason Quick that he is "down too much weight and dehydrated to start or play big minutes." With Jusuf Nurkic (ankle) already on the shelf, the Blazers will lean even more on a group that includes Zach Collins, Noah Vonleh and Ed Davis.
Dec 13 - 7:01 PM

Meyers Leonard (illness) is headed for a game-time call for Wednesday's matchup with the Heat.

Leonard said that he wants to play, but he needs to go through his pregame routine before any final decisions are made. If Leonard can't give it a go, there will be more minutes available for Zach Collins, Noah Vonleh and Ed Davis, with Collins being one of the more attractive options out of that group. Check back for another update closer to tip-off.
Dec 13 - 6:08 PM

Moe Harkless (quad) is available for Wednesday against the Heat.

Considering the matchup, Harkless is probably going to see most of his minutes at the four, which mean he's going to back up Al-Farouq Aminu in this spot. Of course, it's possible he's not in the rotation and his fantasy value is in the tank.
Dec 13 - 6:05 PM

Meyers Leonard (illness) is questionable against the Heat on Wednesday.

We don't have any details on his illness, so expect him to be a game-time call for the 7:30 EST start. Leonard played 19.0 minutes per game in the starts without Jusuf Nurkic (ankle), but coach Terry Stotts was running out Ed Davis, Zach Collins and Noah Vonleh as options at center, as well. If Leonard is out, Collins may have a chance to get minutes in the upper 20s while Davis could also see run closer to 20 minutes, as well.
Dec 13 - 2:30 PM


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