Notebook: Roy out, Bayless in against Magic
PORTLAND — Brandon Roy was hopeful following a Friday morning shootaround at the Trail Blazers’ practice facility.
But soon the realization set in: Roy’s right hamstring was still too sore to play, and the Blazers’ star guard would be forced to sit out a nationally televised, primetime game against the Orlando Magic at the Rose Garden.
“Of course, he’s disappointed,” Portland coach Nate McMillan said. “He wanted to play, and he really thought about it. But we want to try and be smart in this situation. … When a player’s talking about it, then we think there’s even more than there.”
Second-year guard Jerryd Bayless replaced Roy in the lineup, and earned his second career start in the process.
Bayless played in place of Roy on Dec. 23 in a road contest against San Antonio, recording a career-high 31 points.
“He’s done a nice job before in that position,” said McMillan, who added that he did not consider starting guard Rudy Fernandez. “I think he’s our best scorer that we have left.”
Roy has played through the injury for several games. He then felt a hard pull during the third quarter of Portland’s 120-108 home victory Wednesday over the Milwaukee Bucks. Roy sat out the entire fourth quarter as a result, and retreated to the locker room with 6 minutes, 30 seconds left in the fourth period.
The decision for Roy to sit out Friday’s game was made following shootaround, McMillan said. Roy went through several movement-related exercises after practice, and still felt his hamstring acting up.
“We talked about it,” McMillan said. “He knows his body and where he’s at. And he has to give us that information. And that’s a decision that we felt was best.”
The Blazers are hopeful Roy will be able to play next Monday against the Washington Wizards, a contest that marks the beginning of a four-game road trip.
Roy did not practice Thursday, so he could have four consecutive days off to allow his hamstring to heal before Portland faces the Wizards.
“We didn’t want to take any chances of risking that thing pulling,” McMillan said.
However, McMillan added that Roy could possibly miss multiple games because of the injury.
“He was still feeling this when he did just light movement,” McMillan said. “So, we just really have try and be careful here. We’re going to sit him and just give him these next few days.”
Roy’s injury is minor, though, compared to what the Blazers are used to dealing with this season.
Portland centers Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla are out for the year, while everyone from Steve Blake to LaMarcus Aldridge has missed time due to injuries or health-related issues.
“This is what we’ve had to deal with,” McMillan said. “So, it’s not a surprise or a shock (when) guys have to fill in and be ready to play. And our guys have done that.”
More and less
McMillan said he felt comfortable inserting Bayless into the starting lineup.
The former Arizona standout is averaging 8.8 points this season, and has scored 10 or more points 12 times.
“His ability to score — and us needing him to score, with Rudy being out — you’ve seen what he’s capable of doing,” McMillan said.
However, McMillan cautioned that playing Bayless also comes with a price.
Initially, the second-year guard cracked the rotation because of strong defense. But as Bayless has become offensive-minded, one of his main strengths has fallen away.
“You’ve also seen the defense kind of drop off,” McMillan said. “He’s just going through a rookie season, of needing time on the floor to show what he can do and get a feel for how he can be productive.”
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