Notebook: Roy unlikely to travel; Mills likely to move
PORTLAND — Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy is unlikely to travel with the team on its upcoming two-game road trip, coach Nate McMillan said.
Roy is scheduled to be re-evaluated today to check the status of his strained right hamstring.
The two-time All-Star has missed six of Portland’s last seven games due to his injury, including Wednesday’s contest against the Utah Jazz at the Rose Garden.
Roy received a platelet-rich plasma infusion last Friday in the attempt to shorten his rehabilitation time.
And Roy said Tuesday he was hopeful he would be able to travel with the team as it takes on Houston and Dallas on consecutive nights, beginning with a contest Friday against the Rockets.
But McMillan stated that the Blazers are leaning toward keeping Roy in Portland because the team’s best treatment options are based there.
Blazers general manager Kevin Pritchard said he would love to have Roy on the road, since the guard takes an active role on the bench. Pritchard also prefers to ease players back into the lineup, and feels bringing injured athletes on road trips can aid the process.
But Pritchard acknowledged the main issue is making sure Roy’s injury heals properly.
Roy attempted to play Jan. 20 against Philadelphia, but aggravated the strain. He played just 18 minutes versus the 76ers before retreating to the locker room, and has sat out Portland’s last four games due to the injury.
Pritchard acknowledged Roy will likely remain in Portland to prevent a similar reoccurrence.
“We’re going to be cautious,” Pritchard said. “And just because a guy goes on a road trip doesn’t mean he’s going to play.”
McMillan said the Blazers will soon consider whether they will send rookie guard Patty Mills back to the team’s NBA Development League affiliate, the Idaho Stampede.
The timing of the decision will likely be tied into Roy’s return to the lineup.
Mills has been called up by the Blazers twice this season, and has been on Portland’s active roster since last Saturday.
But the former St. Mary’s standout has yet to take the court during his current three-game stint.
The Blazers are allowed to call up Mills three times. Portland must keep this in mind when choosing when to send Mills back to the Stampede, Pritchard said.
Ideally, the Blazers will return Mills to Idaho during a packed stretch of Stampede games, so the rookie can get as much court time as possible.
Mills averaged 25.6 points, 5.4 assists and 1.6 steals in five games (two starts) for the Stampede.
He missed all of Portland’s training camp and the first two months of the season while recovering from foot surgery.
Bayless versus Blake
Jerryd Bayless started at shooting guard for Portland against the Jazz.
McMillan said the decision to begin the game with Bayless instead of Steve Blake came down to Bayless’ ability to penetrate and create action.
Blake is more of a traditional, pass-first point guard. And with Roy out of the lineup, the Blazers need as much activity from their 2 guard as possible.
“Bayless is aggressive,” McMillan said. “And we need some aggressiveness.”
Blazers forward Travis Outlaw is not expected to rejoin the team until after the All-Star break, McMillan said.
The 2010 NBA All-Star game will be played Feb. 14 in Dallas.
Outlaw has been out since Nov. 14 after undergoing surgery to repair a stress fracture in his left foot.
The six-year veteran has missed Portland’s last 35 games as a result.
“It’s going as scheduled, but he’s a ways away,” McMillan said.
However, Outlaw has taken a more active role in recent practices. He worked through light shooting drills during a Wednesday morning shootaround.
“He’s out of the boot, he’s wearing some shoes,” McMillan said. “So, you’re seeing him move around.”
Blazers rookie forward Jeff Pendergraph is scheduled to appear 2 p.m. Sunday at O’Connell Gymnasium at
Pendergraph will be joined by Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt during an event to promote the College Bound Scholarship and encourage students to participate in college readiness workshops.
The College Bound Scholarship provides eligible students with an opportunity to attend Washington universities and community/technical colleges by having the state pay for their tuition at public rates.