Warriors-Trail Blazers Preview
Looking to secure the sixth seed for the Western Conference playoffs, the Trail Blazers try to conclude the regular season with a third straight victory Wednesday night against the visiting Golden State Warriors.
Portland (50-31) and San Antonio have the same record, but the Trail Blazers hold the tiebreaker between the teams and will retain the No. 6 seed with a win in this contest. However, if San Antonio wins at Dallas on Wednesday and Portland loses, the Blazers will drop to seventh.
Facing Golden State (25-56) could give the Trail Blazers a good chance to earn the best possible postseason scenario. Portland is 2-1 against the Warriors this season and won four in a row at home in the series.
Roy's averaged 39.0 points on 68.4 percent shooting in the last two games versus Golden State, but he will miss his second straight contest after suffering a torn meniscus in his knee against the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday. Averaging a team-leading 21.5 points, Roy said he wants to try and play during the postseason and is expected to be re-evaluated Friday.
Portland's already lost forwards Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla to season-ending knee injuries. A total of 13 Blazers have missed a combined 307 games.
"It's been a bad year for injuries with our group,'' coach Nate McMillan said. "It's just something we've had to deal with all year long. So we know what the situation is. We'll rest him this week and see if he can go, see if he can do something.''
After beating the Lakers and posting a 103-95 win over Oklahoma City on Monday, Roy is confident his teammates can continue to come through.
"When guys go down, guys step up." Roy told the Trail Blazers' official Web site. "So I can only believe that these guys are ready to go out there and play even better when the playoffs come."
Marcus Camby could be one of those players who continues to step up after recording 30 points and 13 rebounds Monday as Portland secured consecutive 50-win seasons for the first time since 1999-2000 and 2000-01. Andre Miller added 22 points for the Trail Blazers, who've won 18 of 23.
Miller had 23 points in Portland's 105-89 home win over Golden State on Jan. 2.
Though Golden State will miss the playoffs for a third straight season, it's won four of seven despite losing 103-94 to Utah in its home finale Tuesday.
"It's bad, yeah it's disappointing but we've got (Wednesday's) game to make it up and try to get a win," said guard Monta Ellis, who's averaging 27.0 points versus the Trail Blazers this season.
Coach Don Nelson, who became the NBA's all-time leader in wins last week, plans to return next season to fulfill the final year of his contract.
Stephen Curry is one of the young players Nelson will rely on next season. The rookie of the year candidate had 17 points against Utah, and is averaging 25.7 in his last six contests.