The Blazers are in a deep 0-2 hole against the Memphis Grizzlies, but with the series shifting to Portland for Game 3 on Saturday, they may be getting some key rotation players back just in time.
Arron Afflalo was a midseason acquisition by Portland, and started in 19 of his 25 appearances once Wesley Matthews was lost for the season due to injury. He’s missed the first two games of the playoffs with a shoulder strain, but he’s expected to return to the lineup for the critical Game 3 matchup.
From the Associated Press:
Afflalo has been sidelined with a right shoulder strain that kept him out of the first two games of the series, both Portland losses in Memphis. He was listed as probable by the team on Friday. …
“It’s no time for trying to get to 100 percent,” Afflalo said. “You just get out there and give it your best.” …
In his ninth season, Afflalo injured his shoulder during the Trail Blazers’ 116-105 loss at Golden State on April 9. He has averaged 13.3 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists this season.
The Blazers will take all the help they can get at this point, but it’s unclear if Afflalo alone will be the answer. They’ve gotten rolled in consecutive games in Memphis, and while LaMarcus Aldridge has played well in stretches, Portland will need Damian Lillard, Nicolas Batum and C.J. McCollum to all step up big time in order to have a fighting chance in the series.