Tag:Brandon Roy
Posted on: November 13, 2010 5:37 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:44 pm
 

What's next for Brandon Roy?

Portland Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy is playing on two post-surgical knees. What's next for his game? Posted by Ben Golliver
brandon-roy-knee We've been following the progress of Portland Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy with interest this past week, as he first admitted that he was being forced to adjust his offensive game due to slippage in his athleticism and then work came down that he was dealing with knee issues again, getting his left knee drained multiple times this season. Roy has yet to miss a game this season, but he has called for reduced playing time to ease the stress and reduce the sweeling he's experiencing on his left knee. The Oregonian reports that there's no other solid option and that the problems are here to stay for Roy, who is just 26 years old. 
There's no meniscus left to operate on in Roy's left knee. 
"Nah. None. Not in my right, either," Roy said Friday. 
The reason Roy's knee has been swelling up regularly, to the point where it has already been drained twice by Blazers' doctor Don Roberts this season, is because there is no cartilage to absorb the pounding associated with running and jumping. 
"The problem is bone-on-bone there," Roy said. "Dr. Roberts calls it 'arthritic knee.' It's just something I'm going to have to deal with for the rest of my career." 
Concerns have existed about Roy's knees dating back to college and Roy has had multiple operations on his knees during his NBA career already, so this comes as no surprise. Indeed, Portland fans are breathing a sigh of relief because the other major option on the table, besides the current plan of limiting his minutes and providing extra treatment, was the dreaded microfracture surgery.  That Roy has been given the green light to continue to play this season without needing microfracture surgery essentially saves Portland's season. Without Roy, the deep and talented Blazers are likely still a playoff team, but they would be lacking a much-needed No. 1 scorer in the postseason and the loss of their star player and face of the franchise would have been a huge kick in the gut to the organization and its fanbase, which has already dealt with years of injuries from center Greg Oden. What will the Blazers and Roy look like now that the decision has been made for him to continue to play? It's still too early to say definitively, but there have some clues. Keep in mind Roy is in the first year of a 5-year, $80+ million contract extension, so both he and the Blazers have a vested interest in the long haul rather than the short term. First, Roy is no longer playing long stretches in the first half of games, instead being subbed out at the six minute mark of the first quarter so that coach Nate McMillan can get into his backcourt depth earlier in the game, saving Roy for the fourth quarter, where he has made his reputation as a big shot maker.  Second, Roy is seeing less touches in isolation and is looking for his jump shot rather than to attack the basket more than he has in the past. When he has gone to the rim, he appears to be looking to avoid the big hit. As such, his overall field goal percentage is down from 47.3% to 42.0% and his free throw attempts have dropped from 6.8 last year to 5.7 this year. These drops may not seem huge, but they are magnified given the slow pace that Portland plays and the team's emphasis on offensive efficiency.  Third, Roy's game this year hasn't been as multi-dimensional in the past. His rebounding and assist numbers are down and that affects the quality of looks both he and his teammates receive. Roy often racked up assists when teams would hard-double him. That's not happening any more, leaving his fellow perimeter players with less wide open jump shot attempts.  So when Roy says he has to adjust his game, these are the issues he is dealing with. As one of the league's most intelligent players, Roy is already looking ahead to changes he can make, which include receiving the ball in the post to set up a variety of turnaround jump shots from closer in, using more up-fakes in isolation to get his man in the air to earn trips to the foul line without drawing hard contact, and participating more in some of Portland's newer offensive sets, which rely less on Roy driving hard in isolation and more on inside-out passing and perimeter movement to find open shots.  Even with two bad knees, Roy would remain one of the league's premier jump shooters and trick shot artists given his exceptional shooting form and release. That will become the bread-and-butter of his offensive game, both in the short-term and in years to come. While that's disappointing and frustrating for Portland fans, it's not necessarily a death sentence for Portland's chances to win an NBA title. It does, however, put more pressure on Portland's big men, particularly Greg Oden and LaMarcus Aldridge, to develop into complementary and consistent offensive weapons, particularly on the low block. Aldridge has been a reliable force early this season, but Oden remains a total unknown, with no injury timetable set more than 11 months after his latest knee surgery. At the end of last season, Roy told me that the Blazers needed to "cross [our] fingers" regarding Oden's return to the court. With Roy's latest news, Portland fans are slowly running out of fingers to cross. That endless superstitious hoping and waiting won't be alleviated until both Roy and Oden are back on the court, together. 
Posted on: November 10, 2010 4:39 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:40 pm
 

Brandon Roy has had left knee drained of fluid

Portland Trail Blazers all star guard Brandon Roy has reportedly had his knee drained multiple times this year and will seek further medical advice. brandon-roy Posted by Ben Golliver

Over the weekend, we noted that Portland Trail Blazers all star Brandon Roy had planned some adjustments to his offensive game, to compensate for what he hinted was some slippage in his athleticism. At the time, Roy ruled out any concern about injuries as a cause for his perimeter-focused "ground game" approach, which has seen him attack the basket less and settle for more jumpers in the early season. Tonight, Roy repeated to a group of reporters that he doesn't have a particular injury that's troubling him but that he does want to limit his playing time this season so that he can build towards the playoffs. He also made a point to tell Blazer fans that they shouldn't be concerned about his health.  But The Oregonian reports that Roy's left knee, not the one he had surgery on last spring, is experiencing repeated swelling, and has been drained of fluid twice already this season. The persistent swelling is leading Roy to seek the medical opinion of surgeon Neal ElAttrache, who will "determine a course of action," according to the paper. Obviously, that could involve a further minutes limitation, rest, treatment and, in a worst case scenario: surgery. Roy is not only the heart and soul of this Blazers team, he is also the focal point of its offensive system, which regularly runs the ball through his hands in isolation. Roy has been much less efficient in the early season, as he has not gotten to the rim or the free throw line with any regularity. He's often appeared tentative and has limited the number of situations where he can draw hard contact. Any absence would be felt immediately and forcefully, as the drop off from Roy to reserve guards Rudy Fernandez and Wesley Matthews is substantial. Roy is currently expected to play during Portland's upcoming 3-game road trip, which includes stop in Oklahoma City on Friday, New Orleans on Saturdya and Memphis next Tuesday. Today's latest development is bad news for both Roy and the Blazers. It's just not yet clear whether it will be bad news, horrible news, or really, really horrible news. That determination won't be possible until after ElAttrache's evaluation.  Until then, the city of Portland is on pins and needles.
Posted on: November 7, 2010 5:41 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:34 pm
 

Brandon Roy goes to "ground game" after injuries

Portland Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy says concern about his injury history and a heavy playing time load is changing his approach on offense.brandon-roy Posted by Ben Golliver The Portland Trail Blazers demolished the Toronto Raptors on Saturday night, despite being forced to play center Sean Marks on the same day they signed him and not having reserve guard Rudy Fernandez, who is dealing with back pain.  Those are only the latest roster tweaks, however, as the Blazers are still without centers Joel Przybilla and Greg Oden, who were lost to season-ending knee injuries last year, and guard Elliot Williams and big man Jeff Pendergraph, who were both lost to season-ending injuries since the preseason started this year. The result has been an increased minutes burden for Portland's veteran starters, including point guard Andre Miller, center Marcus Camby, power forward LaMarcus Aldridge and all star off guard Brandon Roy.  After the blowout win over the Raptors, which saw him play 37 minutes, Roy noted that he's been "playing more minutes than I've ever played" and he told Blazersedge.com that he's changing his offensive game because of it.
Roy told me he is already making adjustments to his game and schedule given the heavier minutes load and some mental attention he's paying to the miles that are already on his body. "I think now my practice time is going to cut down a little bit. In the games, I'm just trying to pick my spots a little more smarter. I think just with some of the injuries I've had in the past, just trying to make my reads, be a little bit smarter, attack the basket, try to get guys in the air."
While observers have been calling for Roy to settle for his jumper less and attack the basket more, Roy made it sound tonight like his new perimeter-first approach has been by design. "I'm just playing a little bit more of a ground game," Roy told me. "Some of that is just trying to continue to understand my body and how I can get my game off. Pick my spots about when to go to the basket. I'm not jumping as high as I was. Tonight I thought I finally got the pump fake off in the paint, got the foul. Try to do things like that to keep opening my game up."
Roy underwent minor knee surgery before the 2010 NBA playoffs and it sounds like he feels that his best athletic days are behind him. Last fall, Roy was given a 5-year, $80+ million contract primarily due to his leadership skills and offensive versatility. Roy built his reputation on being able to score in every way possible: above the rim, at the rim, in the mid-range, behind-the-arc, off-the-dribble, on the pull-up, you name it.  Roy's ball fakes and jukes remain some of the craftiest in the league, but an inability to explode vertically and/or a hesitancy to drive to the basket hard on a regular basis makes him an easier cover defensively. As more game tape of the "grounded" Roy, expect defenses to crowd him on the dribble and double-team him in isolation less frequently. These changes put more pressure on Roy to hit contested shots and necessitate that some of Portland's auxiliary offensive options, guys like Nicolas Batum or Wesley Matthews, bring a little bit more firepower to the table. Roy's intelligence and skill level ensure he will be a premier two-guard for years to come. But his comments, which come just seven games into the season, make Roy sound like a player who is much older than 26 years of age. It's still too early for real concern, however, as the Blazers sit atop the competitive Northwest Division with a record of 5-2. But it might be time for Blazers coach Nate McMillan to adjust his rotations, easing up on the load being carried by Roy and the other veterans.
Posted on: November 5, 2010 4:25 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:31 pm
 

Blazers' horrible day ends with loss to Thunder

The Portland Trail Blazers lost two players for the season on Thursday, and lost to their major rival, the Oklahoma City Thunder, on Thursday night. kevin-durantPosted by Ben Golliver The Portland Trail Blazers know a thing or two about bad days, especially after last season, when they suffered through some shell-shocking 24-hour periods. Greg Oden writhing in pain on the floor, his knee completely out of place. Joel Pryzbilla, injuring his knee on the court and then again at home in his shower a few months later, sitting on the bathroom floor, tears flowing as he realized what he had done. Draft night: firing a popular general manager out of nowhere, trading a popular player and leaving its fanbase in a state of shock. Thursday ranks right up there with any of them, though. In less than 10 hours, the Blazers: 1) lost first-round draft pick Elliot Williams for the season due to a knee injury, 2) lost center Fabricio Oberto to retirement due to a re-occurring heart problem 3) lost guard Rudy Fernandez for an indefinite time period (not expected to be too long) to a minor back injury and 4) lost at home in overtime to their chief rival, the Oklahoma City Thunder, after blowing a 13-point lead on national television. "Thank goodness it's over," said Blazers coach Nate McMillan after the game. "It's shocking some of the things that happened, but you have to move on." Even though the back half of their roster was seemingly melting away before their eyes, the Blazers came out relatively poised against the Thunder, dumping in 64.3% of their first half shots and scoring easily time after time. Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge was a major recipient, finishing a number of alley oops at the rim, without a Thunder defender in sight.  Battling back from down double digits, the Thunder tightened up big time in the second half, limiting the Blazers to just 19 fourth-quarter points and, even more remarkably, holding the Blazers scoreless through the first 4:19 of overtime. Oklahoma City all star Kevin Durant switched onto Blazers all star Brandon Roy down the stretch. Roy finished with 19 points, five rebounds and five assists on the night, but he shot just 6-17 from the field and was 0-4 from the field in the fourth quarter and overtime. One of the misses was a potential game-winner in the final seconds of regulation, with Durant waving at his look. "They definitely keyed on some of the spots that I like to get the ball," Roy said. "So I think because of that we went other places and we just looked a little confused there. We've got to get better down the stretch. We've got to figure that out." Durant, meanwhile, was steely-faced before the game and animated throughout, looking to make up for a 6-24 shooting night in an ugly blowout loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday. He did so in a big way Thursday, out-dueling Roy by putting up 28 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and three blocked shots. "We needed that a lot, man," Durant said. "It's kind of like a monkey off of our backs once the buzzer ended. It's a good win for us but we've got to move on." As for the Blazers, the injury monkey remains on their backs, and it only seems to increase in size. Portland played just eight players on Thursday due to all the injuries, and the team plans to bring in five free agent big men for a look, as first reported on CBSSports.com. "We'll be looking at guys," McMillan said after the game. "We certainly are looking at bringing somebody in." Portland needs the interior help if they are to keep pace with the Thunder (and the Jazz, and the Nuggets) for the Northwest Division crown. Make no mistake, that's still the goal for the Blazers, who remain in first place in the Northwest at 4-2, despite a Thursday they won't soon forget. 
Posted on: November 5, 2010 4:19 am
Edited on: November 5, 2010 8:03 am
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Posted on: November 2, 2010 10:57 am
 

Game Changer 11.2.10

Deng does work with his mid-range, the Raptors do no work on the glass in the fourth, and Gordon does demolition work on the rim. All that and more in this edition of the Game Changer .
Posted by Matt Moore


Each game is made up of elements which help formulate the outcome. Monday through Friday, we'll bring you the elements from the night before's games in our own specialized version of the game recaps. It's not everything that happened, but it's an insight into what lead to the results you'll see in the box scores. This is the Game Changer .

THE BIG ONE: DENG DOIN' WORK


In general, Nicolas Batum is a good defensive player. So is Wesley Matthews. Unfortunately, last night, they were completely overwhelmed by the rarest of finds: a fully functional Luol Deng. Not hampered by injury, a poor offensive system, or mental distractions, last night is a perfect example of what can happen when Deng is feeling it. Particularly, Deng's game is focused on the mid-range J. It's a highly inefficient shot, which is why he so rarely has nights like this. But when it's falling? Good night, nurse. Deng dropped 40 on the Bulls in a game that wasn't close right from the start. The Blazers just looked overwhelmed defensively. They couldn't protect the rim, and nothing was going to work on Deng. He kept nailing pull-up jumpers off the dribble, forcing them to close. Then he pump faked and got to the line. Take a look at his shot chart from CBSSports.com's Game Tracker .



That's a pretty good night from the field. When you're hot, you're hot.

Other than that? Not much to report. The Bulls' defense wasn't really all that stout, allowing a 110.1 efficiency for Portland, despite the Blazers shooting 41% from the field and 0.00% from the arc. 0-14 from the stripe for the Blazers. It was that kind of night. But 41 free throws helped them avoid getting wiped off the map while still being down too much to climb back from. The Blazers just looked a step behind on all their rotations, and the Bulls' offense was functioning at an extremely high level. Derrick Rose finishe with 16, 13, and 5, with 6 turnovers, and made a few absolutely gorgeous cross-court skip passes to Deng for open threes behind the baseline off-ball screen. Stuff you did not see out of the Bulls last year. Thibs has the offense going well, and with Deng hitting the jumper, that was all she wrote.

GO-GO-GADGET LINES OF THE NIGHT:

Luol Deng: 40 points on 14-19 shooting, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, +19

Tyreke Evans: 23 points on 9-16 shooting, 7 rebound, 5 assists, 2 steals, 1 block

Gary Neal: 16 points, 4-8 from 3-point land, 6 rebounds, 2 assists

Eric Gordon: 23 points, 4 rebounds, 11 assists, 2 steals, 2 turnovers, only Clippers starter with postiive plus/minus


DON'T MISS:

Ken Berger posts on how the league needs to take note of what happened in the NHL Lockout. Check out Ken's Post-Ups with news from around the league on several subjects, including Derrick Favors, Nicolas Batum, and how the league is approaching the Knicks investigation. Be sure to check out the horror, the horror of the Mike Conley extension, and Royce Young covers what we learned in week one .


RAPTORS BOARD OUT OF THEIR MINDS:


The Raptors held a 34-25 advantage on the glass headed into last night's fourth quarter against the Kings. In related news, they held an eight point advantage. In the fourth quarter alone, they lost the rebounding battle by double (14-7, advantage Kings), and were outscored by 11. That was your ballgame. Andrea Bargnani was, for some weird reason, matched up with the bulkier, meaner DeMarcus Cousins, while Reggie Evans was forced to try and hold off the wiry, quicker Carl Landry. It made absolutely no sense and the results bore out. The Raptors had this game on lockdown and just let the Kings take it away from them. This despite Evans finishing with 19 rebounds, 10 offensive. That would make them Never Be Closing, I suppose.

VIDEO-A-GO-GO


In case you missed it last night:




BENCH MOBBED:


The Clippers bench was outscored 32-7 last night in a nine point loss. For those of you keeping track, that means that the starters managed to outscore San Antonio's, but they couldn't handle Gary Neal and James Anderson. It at once says that the Clippers are far too woefully thin to be considered anything close to a playoff team this year, and that the Spurs have once again added young, versatile pieces which will help them this season. One game does not a season make, but the success the Spurs are having is a product of the system, and solid player acquisition. The smart get smarter, the Clips get Clipper.

AND FINALLY:

Loud noises!



Follow F&R on Twitter at @CBSSportsNBA and check out our RSS feed . This has been your daily edition of the Game Changer .
Posted on: October 27, 2010 2:35 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:09 pm
 

Your essential guide to Armon Johnson

Portland Trail Blazers rookie point guard turned some heads during his NBA debut against the Phoenix Suns. Here's everything you need to know aboutarmon-johnson him boiled down in one place.
Posted by Ben Golliver


The Portland Trail Blazers have one of the most bizarre media coverage situations in the NBA. In Portland, they're under a microscope, often receiving the entire sports attention of local television, radio, internet, daily newspapers and alt-weeklies, enjoying perhaps the most obsessive coverage of any small-market team in the NBA. Nationally, thanks to their late-night start times and slow-down pace, plus zero televised games this preseason, the team has existed in a black hole. As such, even hoops die-hards like J.E. Skeets were left to joke that they had no idea who Blazers rookie point guard Armon Johnson was after his impressive NBA debut last night, when he tallied 6 points, 2 rebounds and 3 assists in 9 minutes of play and played his patented brand of chest-to-chest pressure defense. Given that TheRookieWall.com named Johnson "rookie of the night" on opening night, I figured it was a good time to get you caught up on the man they call "A.J."   Here are 10 essential Armon Johnson facts that you can use to impress women at the bar.
    1. His first name is difficult to pronounce properly and he's a little sensitive about it, going so far as to explain the proper pronunciation to a press conference room full of reporters when he was announced to the media following the 2010 draft. There's a Jamaican-esque emphasis on the "Mon" after a soft r. It's pronounced "ar-MAHN," not "AR-mun."

    1. Johnson originally hails from Chicago but was raised in Nevada, and he has known fellow Blazer rookie Luke Babbitt since elementary school. He graduated from Reno's Hug High School (seriously) and his affectionate off-the-court personality makes this detail feel like a major part of his persona.

    1. Johnson was part of the most interesting pre-draft workout scene in Portland over the last three years. After his workout, Johnson was the only player to stick around afterwards to work on his jump shot with the team's shooting coach and hobnob with the team's scouts. Less than two hours after his workout finally ended, the Blazers sent millions of dollars to the Golden State Warriors to buy the right to switch second-round draft picks. The Blazers used that new pick, No. 34 overall, to draft Johnson.

    1. Blazers scouts simultaneously adore Johnson and work aggressively to manage expectations for him. Perhaps this is a function of the point guard hype carousel that has gone on in recent years in Portland (a list of casualties: Sebastian Telfair, Jarrett Jack, Sergio Rodriguez, Jerryd Bayless). This summer, they saw his ceiling as an Eric Snow type of leader at the point guard position and, despite a strong preseason, they continue to hold to that as Johnson's ceiling.

    1. The strengths of Johnson's game are his tenacity on defense, his overall quickness, his passing ability and his good size and strength.

    1. The biggest weakness of Johnson's game is his jump shot. Denver point guard Ty Lawson set an NBA record by sagging 21 feet off of Johnson during a preseason game. Also, his aggressive defense and use of his hands will lead to a lot of perimeter foul calls this season. Lastly, while some opposing guards have yet to pick up on this, Johnson is left-handed and greatly favors his dominant hand when attacking the defense off the dribble or looking for his shot.

    1. Why wasn't Johnson a first round pick? Two main reasons. First, his small-conference college team, Nevada, was off the map because they didn't make the NCAA tournament last year. It looked even worse because the Wolfpack had two NBA prospects in Johnson and Babbitt, and Johnson, as point guard, caught a lot of the blame for this lack of post-season success. Second, he shot just 23.9% from the college three-point line last year, leading to questions about how far that number would plummet at the NBA distance.

    1. A Blazers assistant coach gushed that Johnson is "a left-handed Nate McMillan" after a Las Vegas Summer League game this year and Johnson's willing-to-do-anything hungriness has clearly endeared him to his new coach, who has been notoriously difficult on young point guards in the past.

    1. Johnson figures to carve out a nice role for himself in Portland's rotation this year, as the team's second unit is stocked with shooters like Rudy Fernandez and Wesley Matthews, who can make up for Johnson's lack of range. Another factor playing in Johnson's favor is that McMillan will likely lean heavily on Matthews to close games alongside Brandon Roy in the backcourt. Using Johnson to tire the opposing team's point guard seems like a smart strategic move to make life easier on Matthews and Roy, neither of whom are true point guards.

  1. The final question for any point guard in Portland is: "Does he have Brandon Roy's endorsement?" Even an established veteran like Andre Miller hasn't been able to escape that one. Roy liked what he saw last night. "Armon gave us 10 minutes. A really good 10 minutes. It gave us a chance to come in and finish that game. Armon did a wonderful job this preseason working every day to get better, watching a lot of film, and he showed it out there. He showed what he's been working on. That wasn't a fluke."
Posted on: October 27, 2010 12:36 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:08 pm
 

At The Buzzer: Portland 106, Phoenix 92

Blazers beat Portland behind new acquistions, Suns struggle without Amar'e.
Posted by Ben Golliver

Thanks to a rash of injuries for Portland and a rash of poor roster construction for Phoenix, Tuesday night's match-up between the two teams was a perimeter-dominated affair by necessity, with Brandon Roy and Jason Richardson traded baskets and a group of Portland guards trying to offset a hot shooting night for Steve Nash.

Portland came strong out of the gates, thanks to an extended season-opening player introduction that had the Rose Garden crowd hyped, but a red hot shooting third quarter (14-18 from the field, 4-4 from deep) for the Suns had Phoenix up six, 81-75, after three.

Blazers coach Nate McMillan experimented with a number of unorthodox lineup combinations, including a four guard lineup that featured rookie point guard Armon Johnson, Wesley Matthews, Brandon Roy and Rudy Fernandez, in an attempt to keep pace with Phoenix. Johnson, a physical lefty point guard, was a much-needed spark plug, as he attacked the basket and played physical defense in an unexpectedly long fourth-quarter run.

It was a sloppy night for both teams, with Nash committing nine turnovers by himself, but the Blazers pulled away late, corralling a number of offensive rebounds to extend possessions and building a double-digit lead with three fourth-quarter three-pointers from Nicolas Batum.



 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com