Healthy shooting guards will be at a premium tonight at the Rose Garden, when the Portland Trail Blazers host the Orlando Magic. Vince Carter's back for Orlando, but Brandon Roy might miss the game for Portland. Get caught up with the Blazers by reading Eddy's interview with Ben Golliver. Also see Ben's interview with Eddy at Blazeredge here, for an idea of what Portland fans want to know.
Make the jump for the usual lineup chart and some brief thoughts on the game.
UPDATE: per Joe Freeman, Roy is indeed out due to a strained right hamstring. Jerryd Bayless will start in his place.
|2009/2010 NBA Season|
|January 15th, 2010|
|Fox Sports Florida / ESPN|
|Jameer Nelson||PG||Andre Miller|
|Vince Carter||SG||Jerryd Bayless|
|Matt Barnes||SF||Martell Webster|
|Rashard Lewis||PF||LaMarcus Aldridge|
|Dwight Howard||C||Juwan Howard|
|December 19th: Magic 92, Trail Blazers 83|
For the purposes of the lineup chart,
I've taken Roy's teammate LaMarcus Aldridge at his word when he said he expects Roy will play. Although Carter came off the bench the last time he returned from injury, he will start tonight, which moves J.J. Redick to the bench.
The Blazers' injury woes are well-documented, and they're a fun team to watch, which is why I'm happy to see that Rudy Fernandez and Steve Blake have returned. That franchise has gone through too much to lose key players for an extended period of time like this. The Blazers are a resilient, talented group playing in front of arguably the best home crowd in the NBA. The Magic, steaming after their embarrassing loss to the Nuggets on Wednesday, can't get caught off guard.
One thing to pay attention to: Rashard Lewis' involvement in the offense, especially when paired with Carter. Lewis complained about his lack of shots after the Denver game, saying, "Every night in order for me to have a good game I feel like I have to make every shot, every last one of them because I’m not getting very many of them." Making the most of his opportunies tonight would go a long way toward proving he merits more touches.
Tip's at 10:30, so put off your Friday-night partying for at least 3 hours and take in what should be a tremendously entertaining game.