Damian Lillard Ruled Out vs. Nuggets with Hamstring Injury

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 22, 2017

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 17:  Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers looks on against the Golden State Warriors during an NBA Basketbball game at ORACLE Arena on December 17, 2016 in Oakland, California. 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 Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard suffered a hamstring strain Wednesday and has already been ruled out for Friday's game against the Denver Nuggets, per Casey Holdahl of the team's official site.

Lillard noted how much the injury affected him during the previous game against the Spurs.

"I couldn't move," Lillard said Wednesday, per Mike Richman of the Oregonian. "I couldn't. Otherwise I would've probably had much more of an impact on the game down the stretch." 

Lillard has developed into one of the league's most valuable players since the Blazers selected him with the sixth overall pick in the 2012 draft. His success reached a new peak last season when he ranked fourth among point guards in Value Added, according to ESPN.com.

The 27-year-old Weber State product has also remained a model of durability for the majority of his career. He played all 82 games in each of his first three years. While he did miss some time with minor ailments each of the last two seasons, he sat out just 14 combined contests.

If the latest issue keeps him out of the lineup, backcourt partner C.J. McCollum will likely assume more responsibility running the offense. That should open additional playing time for Evan Turner, Shabazz Napier and Pat Connaughton.

Ultimately, even though that's a solid reserve group for Portland, it's impossible to replicate the production Lillard provides on a nightly basis. Any type of long-term setback would make it nearly impossible for the Blazers to match their usual offensive metrics.

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