The Portland Trail Blazers held practice Friday morning, a day before hosting the Charlotte Bobcats on Saturday.
Portland (34-27) will welcome Joel Przybilla and Dante Cunningham back to the Rose Garden after being trade to Charlotte (26-34), along with Sean Marks, who was waived by the team, and two first-round draft picks on Feb. 24, for forward Gerald Wallace.
“I love both guys, I really do,” said Trail Blazers' Head Coach Nate McMillan. “They play the game the right way. I love the way that play. They helped us this season and they’re return tomorrow is some what bitter.”
Even though, McMillan said it’s a part of the business, the relationship between his former players runs deeper.
“I talked with them after the trade,” said McMillan. “They’re like your kids leaving home. They both are good people and I hope everything works out for them.”
Wallace, who helped Portland correct its two-game skid with 12 points and five rebounds in Wednesday’s 107-102 win over the Sacramento Kings, said it’s going to be a different feeling going up against his former team.
“I’m still trying to work my way in and get adjusted to everything and get accustomed to all the players,” said Wallace of his one-week-old teammates. “It’s going to be a totally different feeling.”
Brandon Roy and Rudy Fernandez will be back in action tomorrow, said McMillan. He also noted that the lineup of–Andre Miller, Wesley Matthews, Nicolas Batum, LaMarcus Aldridge and Marcus Camby–will not change.
“LaMarcus has been pretty good at the five spot,” said McMillan. “That spacing on the floor with him at the five spot has been pretty good. We want to get to that, but we also want to take advantage of our bigs being in the game.”
Roy sat out Wednesday’s win from a coach’s decision and Fernandez missed the last two games after suffering flu-like symptoms.
The Trail Blazers got back on track on Wednesday after Wesley Matthews led Portland with 21 points, with 11 coming in the forth quarter, and shot 8-of-12 from the floor and made 4-of-4 at the line. He also added five assists and three rebounds.
Watch the Trail Blazers in action on Comcast SportsNet Channel 37 with Mike Barrett and Mike Rice. Also, listen to the live play-by-play from Brian Wheeler and Antonio Harvey on 95.5 FM The Game. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 PM.