Count me among the souls who exhaled after Wednesday's wonderful indication that all the good progress the Trail Blazers achieved over the last six weeks wouldn't be flushed.

Be sure of it, an NBA team changed hands. Just not the way I feared it might.

A day earlier, red-hot forward LaMarcus Aldridge said of the impending return of three-time All-Star Brandon Roy: "We all know this is his team, so when he comes back, I'll do whatever the team needs me to do."

This statement resulted in a city-wide shriek.

Not because people don't remember how wonderful Roy can be with a basketball in his hands. He's terrific. Rather, because we're just beginning to learn what Aldridge can do in that role. He's good, too. And the fear is that Roy's return from double knee surgery combined with Aldridge's willingness to defer, would mean death to this loose and free era of Blazers basketball.

I doubt Andre Miller could eat or sleep much himself last night. Guard Rudy Fernandez must have been up, too, sick to his "estomago." And all that angst was put to rest when coach Nate McMillan announced that he'd have none of this "it's Roy's team again" talk.

But Wednesday brought the news that Roy will not return to the lineup this weekend, along with this statement from coach Nate McMillan:

"We will work him in and you know make adjustments to what he can do out on the floor. He's going to have to adjust to the way we're playing."

It was a brilliant call by McMillan.

He took the keys from Roy. He refused, too, to give them to Aldridge. More than they ever have, the Blazers suddenly feel as though they belong to McMillan -- the coach, of all ridiculous things!?! And I'm convinced this is a promising development.

Roy is the most accomplished player. He's the proven winner. The guy who led the Blazers out of the lottery and into the playoffs. I love his game, and can't bring myself to give up on the idea that he'll be back and be a factor again. That said: This is McMillan's team now. And it stays that way until the guy in charge chooses to hand over the keys.