Damian Lillard Says Blazers' Struggles Won't Continue: 'We're Gonna Come Back'

Doric SamApril 11, 2022

PORTLAND, OREGON - MARCH 28: Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers watches play during a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Moda Center on March 28, 2022 in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Before the Portland Trail Blazers wrapped up their season against the Utah Jazz on Sunday, star point guard Damian Lillard had a message for the home crowd at the Moda Center:

Eric Walden @tribjazz

Damian Lillard addressing the Portland crowd pregame: “There’s one thing I need you to know — This will not continue next year. We’re gonna come back.”

Lillard was referring to the team's abysmal performance this year, as Portland has a 27-54 record entering Sunday's contest. It will be the Blazers' worst record since drafting Lillard in 2012, and it will end a run of eight consecutive playoff appearances.

Portland's season was mired by injuries and a roster teardown. Lillard hasn't played since the end of December after he suffered an abdominal injury that required surgery. Anfernee Simons (knee), Jusuf Nurkic (foot) and Eric Bledsoe (Achilles) were all shut down for the remainder of the season at the end of March. The Blazers shipped away key players CJ McCollum, Norman Powell and Robert Covington at this year's trade deadline.

With a fully healthy Lillard and the player they take with their 2022 lottery pick, the Blazers should be back in the postseason conversation next year.