The Trail Blazers didn't make a trade Wednesday night, though reports indicate that they're in discussions with numerous teams and could very well make a move before the noon deadline Thursday.
And they lost to the Lakers at the Rose Garden, ending a six-game winning streak and pushing Portland back to the seventh seed in the Western Conference playoff table.
But both the short and long-term prospects in Rip City nevertheless got a boost Wednesday night with the return of Brandon Roy to the lineup. Roy played limited minutes, scored just 5 points on 2-of-5 shooting and looked tentative at times, but he was back, reportedly pain-free and optimistic about his prospects for the future.
"It felt good playing," said Roy. "Just trying to get my flow back. I think (team trainer) Jay (Jensen) told me I was out for two months. I didn't even notice it had been that long. But it was good to be back out there playing with the guys. They were very encouraging."
As were the Rose Garden faithful. There have been grumbles in blog comments and message boards that Roy's return might disrupt the rhythm the team had found in his absence, but if there was any concern among the 20,643 fans in attendance, it didn't show. Roy, checking in for the first time in 2011, received a standing ovation from the same crowd that had watched the guard from Washington carry the Trail Blazers on his back many times in his four plus years in Portland.
"It was great," said Roy of the reception. "Our fans have always been very good to me. They kind of get me going but at the same time it made me a little nervous because everybody's cheering."
Though in the crowd's defense, Roy was going to be nervous either way. How could he not? Wednesday night's game was the first page in a new chapter of Roy's career, and new beginnings are always nerve-wracking.
"I thought the second half, once my adrenaline started kicking in and I stopped thinking so much and worrying about being tired I thought I was much better," said Roy. "Again, this is the first game in a long time and just happy I was back out there playing with the guys."
Counted out by some, straight up disrespected by others, the three-time all-star now has to figure out who he is, and that process started against the Lakers. Can he get back to the All-NBA level he was at before? Would he best serve the team coming off the bench? Could he accept such a role? Were any of those questions answered Wednesday night? Probably not, but at least we're now one game closer to some sort of resolution, and that's something to feel good about.