Damian Lillard may just be riding the bench barring the NBA’s approach to the return of basketball.
In the past couple days, many proposals on how the NBA will return have been introduced. Some of these which give the Portland Trailblazers no chance to make the playoffs. In response to this, Damian Lillard has gone on record saying he will not be appearing in anymore games for the year if this is the case. “I’m going to be sitting right on that bench,” Lillard stated when considering playing meaningless games.
In hindsight, this move makes a lot of sense for Damian Lillard. Risking an injury to play in games when your team is already eliminated from playoff contention does seem a little unwarranted. This move would also give some of the younger guys more minutes to continue becoming better overall players. Although Lillard is willing to sit out if the games become meaningless, theres no doubt that the best scenario in his mind would be to get back on the court.
In fact, Damian Lillard seems to be a fan of an NCAA bracket-style approach to the return of the NBA. This would give a chance to teams that are currently pushing for a playoff berth. “When the season does come back, I feel like it’s only right teams get a chance to make a playoff push, like ourselves, give us a chance to get in.”
When considering how many games were left in the season and the opportunity that teams had to make the playoffs, cutting them off does seem a bit unfair. Every year, it seems as though teams in the bottom of the two conferences battle for spots in the playoffs up until the last regular season game. This year was no different, as the races in the bottom of both the Western and Eastern conferences were insanely close.
Adam Silver has a lot of thinking to do when considering how to bring back NBA play.