The high scoring duo of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum is the engine that drives the Portland attack. However it’s the hard work of a behind-the-scenes pairing that has kept the Trail Blazers running efficiently. Head athletic trainer Geoff Clark and Director of Player Health and Performance Dr. Chris Stackpole have transformed a team once synonymous with injury into one of the best training staffs in the league.
The success continued in the 2014-15 season as the team missed the second fewest games to injury in the league with 54. The number marks the third straight season that Stackpole and the rest of the staff have kept the total below the league average, with two of those seasons ending as top-5 finishes. Last year only Meyers Leonard missed more than 10 games as he missed 20 games with his twice-dislocated shoulder.
The 2015-16 campaign could present a challenge to the medical team as offseason acquisition Festus Ezeli has yet to be cleared following bone marrow aspirate and Orthovisc injections. However they’ve already successfully managed several minor issues, including debridement surgery for Noah Vonleh, and should be equipped to remain a top-tier medical unit.