Bad news out of shootaround today, as Brandon Roy, already listed as questionable for tonight's game against the Celtics, is now declaring himself doubtful. Getting a win against the World Champs is tough, but doing it without your best player? That's going to take something special.
So who picks up the slack if Roy doesn't play, and more specifically, who takes Roy's spot in the rotation? It basically comes down to Rudy Fernandez and Jerryd Bayless. The snap judgment would be to go with Rudy, as he has more general NBA and "big game" experience, but the decision might not be as cut and dry as it appears on the surface.
A few things to contemplate.
Having Roy out of the lineup already throws the rotation for a loop. If you give Rudy the start, that rotation goes even more catywampus, as both the first and second units change. If you simply go Bayless for Roy, you at least keep the second unit intact, though it can be assumed that Rudy plays more minutes regardless.
Then there are matchups to consider. Is Blake and Bayless vs. Rondo and Allen a better option than Blake and Rudy vs. Rondo and Allen?
And then there's past performance. Rudy has played much more than Bayless, but a lot of people thought Jerryd showed something during his garbage time minutes in the loss to the Celtics. Do you reward Bayless for that tenacity with the start, or defer to Rudy's experience and proclivity for scoring?
Also worth noting that Bayless often runs with the first team during practice when Roy sits. Does that give Bayless the leg up? Then again, Rudy often plays with the first unit late in games, so maybe he gets the edge.
I've got an opinion, but I'd like to hear your thoughts first. If it were your call, who would you give the start to? Let's hear it in the comments.