Brandon Roy played just 20 minutes against Detroit Tuesday night. Roy the explosive athlete and game changer is missing, his left knee is bothering him to the point the Trail Blazers are having everything reviewed by a specialist in Los Angeles, with an answer expected maybe early next week.
But when the Blazers hit the floor Friday night against the Thunder, Roy will be in the starting lineup, coach Nate McMillan told the Oregonian.
“Nothing has changed in the sense of are we going to go sitting Brandon, or not play him,” McMillan said. “The thing is to cut his minutes, but we will continue to start him. The thought of bringing him off the bench, we haven’t gone there.”
Roy has looked noticeably worse his last two games, against the Lakers and the Pistons. And that compared to earlier this season, when he still didn’t have that jarring first step and ability to get to the rim we expect from him.
McMillan’s problem is he needs Roy — he is the heart of the team’s offense, the guy who can create the shots for himself and others. Well, he can when he’s right. McMillan’s fallback is Rudy Fernandez, who is solid but not the dynamic player Roy is. Which means Portland will have to get by on a variety of options — LaMarcus Aldridge inside, Andre Miller outside, for starters — to get things done. Unless Roy gets right quickly, that may be the option they need to go anyway.