Warriors-Trail Blazers Preview
The Portland Trail Blazers hope their next game will be the last
time they’ll have to play without star Brandon Roy this season.
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
“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
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
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.