Napier (coach's decision) didn't play in Thursday's 118-109 win over the Lakers.
Napier has held down a rotation spot for the better part of the last three weeks while Evan Turner and Damian Lillard have both missed time with injuries, but since both players were active and turned in effective performances Thursday, Napier saw his playing time fall by the wayside. That will likely remain the case going forward, as he's a clear third on the depth chart at point guard behind Lillard and C.J. McCollum.
Napier has seemingly re-entered the Blazers' rotation of late, logging at least 12 minutes in each of the team's last three contests.
The UConn product began the month with a string of DNP-CD's, but he's taken on a slightly larger role of late, playing 12, 17 and 16 minutes, respectively, in the Blazers' last three games while Evan Turner has dealt with an injury. Once Turner returns, Napier's role will likely be reduced, and he remains a fringe, at best, fantasy option in season-long formats.
Napier scored a team-high 11 points (4-10 FG, 1-6 3Pt, 2-3 FT) and added two rebounds, two assists and two steals across 21 minutes in Wednesday's 111-80 loss to the Clippers.
Napier has been an inconsistent member of coach Terry Stotts' rotation this season, so when he leads the team in scoring, it's usually a good indication that something has gone horribly awry. In this instance, it was the terrible shooting of the starting five -- which went a combined 11-of-46 (23.9%) from the field -- that doomed the Blazers, allowing Napier to pick up plenty of run in garbage time. He finished as the team's only double-digit scorer, and didn't crack 10 points until the final two minutes of the game.
Napier didn't appear in Tuesday's 113-104 season-opening win over the Jazz in a coach's decision.
Napier had been dealing with an ankle issue heading into last weekend, but since he was left off the injury report prior to the opener, it appears safe to say he's reasonably healthy. As the fourth man on the depth chart at point guard behind Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum and Evan Turner, Napier isn't expected to play in most competitive games unless one of the players ahead of him succumbs to an injury.
Napier was held out of practice Thursday due to an ankle injury, Casey Holdahl of TrailBlazers.com reports.
The severity of the injury remains unclear, but the Trail Blazers have their preseason finale against the Warriors scheduled for Friday and this latest injury brings Napiers' status for that outing into question. Look for him to be evaluated further during Friday's morning shootaround, which should give us a better indication of his status moving forward.
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W 127-123 (OT)
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| 26 || 27 |
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