Tonight, the Portland Trail Blazers take on the Golden State Warriors at Chase Center. As of now, the Trail Blazers (6-13) are ranked 13th in the Western Conference. The Golden State Warriors (9-11) are ranked 11th. This is the first of four scheduled meetings between the two teams. There's a lot of excitement surrounding this matchup since Anfernee Simons might return.
Anfernee Simons questionable for tonight's game against the Warriors
According to the injury report, Anfernee Simons is listed as questionable for tonight's game due to a torn ligament in his right thumb. In addition to Simons, De'Andre Ayton (right knee soreness) is also listed as a game-time decision for tonight. Simons hasn't played since Oct. 25. His injury occurred during the Trail Blazers' first game of the season against the Los Angeles Clippers. Eager to get back on the court, Simons had surgery on Oct. 31, less than a week after his injury.
According to Trail Blazers reporter Casey Holdahl, Simons participated in most of the team's practice on Monday Dec. 4. Trail Blazers' head coach Chauncey Billups appears equally eager to get Simmons back into the lineup.
Per Casey Holdahl's twitter:
Anfernee Simon's return would be big for the Trail Blazers. It's not just that he's the highest returning scorer on a team that underwent so many changes this offseason. At 24-years-old, Simons is only in his sixth NBA season yet, he's already the longest-tenured player on the team. In his first and only appearance this season, Simons finished with 18 points, four assists, and two rebounds. He also shot 42.9 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from beyond the arc.
With Lillard gone, Simons entered this season with expectations around him to be a main contributor. Trail Blazers GM Joe Cronin told Jason Quick of The Athletic, "We have many guys who are very capable or talented enough to be The Man. It’s who is going to emerge from that? Who is going to emerge not just in play, but in leadership?” Last season, Simons averaged 21.1 points, 4.1 assists, and 2.6 rebounds. Now that he's healthy, Simons is well-positioned to take on a more prominent role and lead the Blazers to success.