LaMarcus Aldridge is OUT for tomorrow against Denver and other injury updates
After spraining his right ankle in Portland’s last game against the New Orleans Hornets power forward LaMarcus Aldridge has yet to practice with the team. He is officially listed as OUT for tomorrow’s matchup with the Denver Nuggets. But he’s not the only ailing Trail Blazer right now, Head Coach Terry Stotts updated the media on their status Wednesday morning from practice.
“We’re doing better,” Stotts said. “LaMarcus didn’t practice, he won’t play tomorrow. Wes and Sasha both practiced, they’re not 100-precent but they practiced, Joel gave a full practice and Nolan is still sick.”
Wesley Matthews is still recovering from a strained left hip flexor, Sasha Pavlovic strained a gluteal muscle, Joel Freeland tore a ligament in his right index finger while on assignment with the Idaho Stampede and Nolan Smith has missed the last two practices due to illness.
When asked if he thought everyone other than Aldridge would play tomorrow, Stotts responded, “I would say so today, but yeah, we’ll see.”
It’s undecided as to who will start for Aldridge tomorrow.
Preparing for Denver
With no LaMarcus Aldridge tomorrow, game planning for a night without him is top of mind for Stotts.
“Obviously that’s a lot of minutes, a lot of points and rebounds and our best player,” he said. “Different players are gonna have to do different things, but we’ve done it before when other players have sat out. LA didn’t play in Brooklyn and we were competitive in that game so everybody’s gotta ratchet it up a little bit to find a way to win a game.
“When you have injuries as you’re gonna have in the NBA season it creates opportunities for other guys to play. I’ve got confidence in everybody on our roster.”
As for what Stotts has seen from Denver in recent games, “They ran and they ran and they ran. They’re an up tempo team, they get the ball up and down the floor, they’re big, they start a big lineup, they pass the ball well, they’re an explosive offensive team.“
Nicolas Batum, who is recovering from a lower back injury, says he’s feeling much better as of late. “I’m okay, I’m way better than I used to,” he said. “I can’t say 100-percent, but almost 100-percent, 91-percent.”
He’s also prepared to adjust his game tomorrow to compensate for the loss of Aldridge. “Everybody gotta step up. Take off 21 points, nine rebounds, your go-to guy, you All-Star, so everybody gonna have to step up tomorrow,” Batum said. “Wes gonna be back tomorrow, so we have to step up. I don’t know if I gonna play the four sometimes. Gallinari play the four when they play small, so we can play small. We play high-tempo because we know Denver love to run, go up and down, so we try to play with 16 [second] shot clock, something like that.”