Damian Lillard out for Trail Blazers-Pelicans

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The Trail Blazers signed Carmelo Anthony and, according to Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts, plan to use him tonight.

That puts the spotlight on an otherwise-mundane regular-season game against the Pelicans. Everyone wants to know how Anthony will perform after his long and eventful absence.

There will be more room for Anthony to cook with Portland star Damian Lillard sidelined.

Jamie Hudson of NBC Sports Northwest:

After a great start to the season, Lillard shot just 10-for-46 (22%) in his last three games. A shoulder injury might explain why. Hopefully, sitting allows him to heal.

In the meantime, we won’t see how Anthony fits on the Trail Blazers. Lillard defines them. They’re a completely different team without the point guard.

But Portland will be even more desperate for a scoring punch, and the stage is set for Anthony to provide one.

I have major doubts about Anthony’s ability to contribute at age 35. Still, he’s talented and will likely have at least moments of impressiveness. It’d be cool if he steps up with everyone watching tonight.