Notebook: Roy says he will do everything he can to play in playoffs
PORTLAND — Trail Blazers All-Star guard Brandon Roy said Wednesday evening he is going to do everything he can to try and take the court in the playoffs and help his teammates in the postseason.
Showing off lifted spirits and an occasional smile, Roy said the decision about whether he does or does not play is purely a personal one. Roy will not consider the long-term effects, nor the money he could possibly lose if playing with a torn meniscus in his right knee causes career-threatening or career-shortening damage.
It is not that Roy is ignoring the possibility — he acknowledged that he has been deluged by family members, friends and teammates presenting both sides of the argument.
Roy said the decision simply comes down to who he is. Since he began playing basketball, Roy has played if he could. He has never put his career over the present tense; never placed the long term over the day to day.
Roy compared himself to a boxer: if he can enter the ring, he will
“Nobody’s forcing me at all to play,” said Roy, prior to Portland’s regular-season finale against Golden State on Wednesday night at the Rose Garden. “The thing is, everybody’s like, ‘Why do it? Why?’ It’s one of those things where, I guess when you’re a player — I never looked at my basketball (career) as a 10-, 20-year career. I never looked at it, like, ‘Oh, I’ve got 15 years.’ I always looked at it as, I played every game that I was healthy enough to play. I don’t know good or bad (that is), but it’s just how I’ve always been.”
Roy will test his injured knee as hard as possible the day before Portland’s first playoff game. If he does not feel pain, he will suit up.
Even a one-on-one conversation Friday with Blazers coach Nate McMillan left Roy undeterred. McMillan told Roy that he would never force him the three-time All-Star to sit out, Roy said. But McMillan did advise Roy to “be smart.”
Roy’s response: “Coach, I’ve got to try, though. I just feel like I’ve got to try.”
Portland forward Juwan Howard said he was primed and ready to start Wednesday in place of LaMarcus Aldridge.
Aldridge was hospitalized Tuesday night with a stomach virus, and was kept in the hospital overnight as a precautionary measure. He did not play in Wednesday’s game, and stayed home to help quicken his recovery.
Aldridge is also recovering from a left-calf contusion.
“He should be ready for the playoffs,” McMillan said.
During an unpredictable season for the Blazers, Howard has been a rock. The 16-year veteran played in all but 10 of the team’s games, starting 27.
Howard did not flinch when asked Wednesday morning about filling in for Aldridge. And Howard showed off a sly smile when asked about Aldridge’s possible absence
“It’s no surprise,” said Howard, referring to his team’s tendency to pile up injuries this season. “Unfortunately for LaMarcus, for his health, I feel bad for him. But, hey: I wish him a speedy recovery. I mean ‘speedy,’ because we really need him.”
The Blazers will waste no time if their first playoff game is scheduled for Saturday, McMillan said.
Portland will practice and travel today, giving the team as much time as possible to prepare for its first-round matchup and adjust to a new environment. Should the Blazers’ first playoff game be scheduled Sunday, Portland will travel Friday.
McMillan said the short turnaround between the end of the regular season and the start of the playoffs will be more of an issue this season than any previous year.
“Because the standings are close, and it’s going down to the last game, as far as who you will face,” McMillan said. “So, it does make it challenging to get yourself ready to prepare to play in two days.”
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