A day later, the timeline is in.
Further medical evaluation confirms that Portland guard Evan Turner sustained a fracture of the third metacarpal in his right hand.
He is expected to be sidelined for 5-6 weeks. The injury will not require surgery.
Portland had just moved Turner into the starting lineup and gone 5-4 since (compared to 18-26 prior). Both the starting and other lineups had fared better since the change that also saw Noah Vonleh start.
The rise of the bench units could be explained by removing Turner, who has (predictably) disappointed in the first season of a four-year, $70 million contract. But he didn’t impede the new starting lineup, so don’t scapegoat him so easily.
The Trail Blazers — one game behind the Nuggets for playoff position — now must find a new winning combination. That won’t necessarily be so much more difficult without Turner, but Portland will have to once again shuffle pieces after seemingly finally finding something that worked.