Damian Lillard out
Trail Blazers first-year point guard Damian Lillard wore gray Derrick Rose adidas sneakers and halfheartedly shot free throws while the rest of his teammates stretched near the back wall to end Tuesday’s practice.
Come to find out, the casual look and separation meant that Lillard, who has started all three Blazer preseason games, was recovering from a bruised left foot. Lillard did not practice and will miss the Blazers’ first exhibition home game on Wednesday night against the Denver Nuggets.
“It’s tough but it’s not a regular-season game,” Lillard said. “I wanted to play since it’s the first home game but I understand that I need to be healthy and get my foot right before the first (regular season) game.”
Lillard, who led the team in scoring with 20 points during the Blazers’ 117-100 loss in Sacramento on Monday, said that he was going for a loose ball in the first quarter when his left foot was trampled.
“I felt it right when it happened,” Lillard said. “I just didn’t know that it would get this sore.”
“I can still walk. I can still jog and jump. There’s just no reason for me to try to force myself to play through it and try to make it work.”
The Blazers will be thin on point guards for Wednesday. Ronnie Price also did not practice on Tuesday as he is still recovering from a sprained right ankle. Nolan Smith will get the start in Lillard’s absence.