Tag:Portland Trail Blazers
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 9, 2010 8:17 pm
Edited on: November 10, 2010 2:30 pm
 

Power Rankings 3-Up, 3-Down: Week 2

The Mavericks, Hornets, and Cavs rise, while the Heat, Blazers, and Timberwolves tumble in our power rankings.
Posted by Matt Moore
 



Our Power Rankings for Week 2 are out. Here at F&R, we'll give the the direct line to who was notable in the rankings from week to week. Here's three who are up and three who are down in week 2.

3-Up


Dallas Mavericks (8): Mavericks rise from 14 to 8 this week and have big victories over the Nuggets (split on a home-and-home) and the Celtics. That's a tasty platter. And for once, they're getting it done with defense. Dallas boasts the fifth best defense in terms of defensive efficiency. Combine that with a legit superstar in Dirk Nowitzki who's carrying 25.8 points per game for Dallas along with 9 rebounds. Dirk's certainly motivated. Offense needs a step up (and a step down in turnovers), but they're getting it done.

New Orleans Hornets (3): KB already told you how they're such a surprise this season, and they rightly rise in the rankings from 5 to 3. Chris Paul is awesome, we already knew that. Okafor's being a man's man, we already knew that, but don't sleep on David West. West has been consistently there for the Hornets, through last year with Paul's injury and Okafor's adjustment, and this season all he's doing is averaging 18 per game shooting 55% from the field, 6.5 boards, and 1 block per game. He's reliable, he's consistent, he's efficient, and he's just as much a part of the Hornets' success as the returning star and resurgent big. Tough week coming up for the Hornets with Portland and Dallas. We'll see if they're still undefeated last week. If they are, going to be hard to keep them out of the second overall spot (LA is still  LA).

Cleveland Cavaliers (20): Eight slot bump for the Cavs this week, who, if they keep this up will be your sentimental favorite in the playoffs come April (in what could be a first-round series with Miami - yikes). The Cavs are just working. The odd thing about it? For years the Cavs have been a tremendous defensive team that couldn't get the buckets. Now it's completely flipped. Their offense is filling it up, but they're letting their opponents get to buckets pretty easy. The weird part is it isn't their at-rim defense, it's their midrange defense that's lacking. Meanwhile, though, J.J. Hickson-Gibson is your new hotness. Bizarre what a new coach can do for you. This team isn't just hanging, they're playing pretty decently, and Mo Williams and Antawn Jamison are largely irrelevant. Which means they could trade both those guys to get younger pieces and still compete.

3-Down

Miami Heat (4): A drop with a loss to the Hornets that they could have won, had they not kept handing off the ball to James Jones and Eddie House who were frozen. With Chris Bosh struggling to find his place , and both of the other stars deferring way too much, the Heat have some problems. Huge week with a rematch versus Boston on Thursday at home. Could this team have 3 losses by the middle of November?  Not exactly Most Dominant Ever so far.

Portland Trail Blazers (9): A minor drop but this team is on kind of a ledge. They get outworked by the Thunder and then obliterated by the Lakers with an unimpressive push against the Raps in-between. It's hard to believe Oden is the difference in this team, and with Brandon Roy talking like he's 35 , and with OKC and New Orleans in the next week, this team will either rise or tumble under the pressure.

Minnesota Timberwolves (29): You know the road kill that makes it all the way to the lane divider? Where it manages to make some progress before having its life ended in a violent and brief encounter with a motor vehicle? That's the Wolves. The past two years they've managed to get an early win, before melting into nothingness. The Wolves were absolutely annihilated by both Miami and Orlando and look absolutely lost on both ends. Michael Beasley cares and is playing well, but in reality, there's just not a lot here for them to develop. The coaching is bad, the team is young, but it's also bad, and the overall construction of the team is bad. It's not surprising, but it's still a downward move from the first week where they just looked pretty bad versus pretty terrible.





Posted on: November 9, 2010 9:34 am
Edited on: November 10, 2010 5:28 am
 

Shootaround 11.9.10: LeBron's not happy

Posted by Royce Young
  • Dwight Howard has been pretty awesome this season and Eddy Rivera looks in depth at his start: "This may finally be the season that Howard becomes an elite two-way player. There are those that might be surprised that this phenomenon is occurring, but they shouldn’t be. There were hints that this was going to happen during the 2010 NBA Eastern Conference Finals, when Howard took his game to another level offensively in Games 4 through 6 and began to make mince meat of Kendrick Perkins and Rasheed Wallace, two defenders that have been able to shut him down many times in the past. Howard, more than anything else, began to understand that he needed to use his finesse, not strength, to score on Perkins and Wallace. It’s the realization that there are different ways to score based on the situation that has allowed Howard to use different aspects of his offensive repertoire when need be. Taking what the defense gives you. Howard is doing a lot of taking lately."
  • Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Al Horford's incentives: "Horford said the five-year, $60 million contract extension he recently signed with the Hawks also includes incentives that could increase the total value to about $67 million. The incentive clauses are based on Horford earning various superlatives, such as being voted to one of three All-NBA teams."
  • If you want to endorse KD, you've got to go to OKC: "I always told myself if I play the game the right way, if I always get better, things like this are going to come to me," Durant told The Oklahoman. "I don't have to go other places just to get this. I don't want to sound like a prima donna. But if companies want to come out here and be a part of what I have going on, they're going to have to come to Oklahoma City."
  • Phil Jasner of the Philadelphia Daily News: "It does not seem to matter that Allen Iverson is 35, that his best days are behind him, that he struggled last season in three games with the Memphis Grizzlies and 25 with the 76ers. All that matters is, Allen Iverson is coming. In true Iverson fashion, he was supposed to be there Saturday, to be greeted by throngs of people, to sign autographs, to be introduced to his new teammates with Besiktas. But he missed his flight, supposedly because he arrived at the airport without his passport."

Posted on: November 8, 2010 9:50 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:33 pm
 

Game Changer 11.8.10: Lakers keep rolling

The Lakers are the class of the NBA, Boston's bench holds down the Oklahoma City Thunder, Pau Gasol goes triple-double thanks to some slick passing and Marco Belinelli hits from way downtown. Posted by Ben Golliver

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: LAKERS REMAIN UNDEFEATED

After looking bored against the Toronto Raptors on Friday night, the Los Angeles Lakers put on their Sunday best to demolish the Portland Trail Blazers 121-96 at Staples. The game was over almost before it started, with the Lakers dominating virtually every facet of the game and breaking out some Showtime stunts as they coasted home during the second half. The scariest thing about Sunday night's win for the rest of the league is that it featured an ineffective and inefficient game from Kobe Bryant. Bryant was just 3-11 for 12 points in 25 minutes, but it hardly mattered, as the Lakers pounded the offensive glass (14 offensive rebounds) and got bucket after bucket at point blank range. Pau Gasol was sensational, slapping together a triple-double and operating at will from everywhere on the court. His interior passing was extraordinary at times, as the Lakers offense displayed great rhythm en route to their seventh straight victory to open the season. As impressive as the Lakers starters were -- and they were very impressive, with Ron Artest turning Portland all star Brandon Roy into a non-factor and Lamar Odom going off for a double-double -- the Lakers bench was equally solid. Point guard Steve Blake capped a solid evening for the second unit when he threw a transition alley oop off the glass after picking Blazers guard Wesley Matthews at the top of the key. Shannon Brown seemingly couldn't miss when open, Matt Barnes roughed up Rudy Fernandez and Derrick Caracter provided energy. Even without injured center Andrew Bynum, the Lakers are getting solid contributions from nine players deep, and the production drop off from the first unit to the second unit has been less noticeable than just about any other team in the league. Blake's addition is particularly key, as his ability to integrate quickly into the triangle offense makes the backcourt transition from first unit to reserves virtually seamless. It's starting to feel like the Lakers, by virtue of their unmatched chemistry, simply have a two year head start on the rest of the league (except Boston). The passing, the timing, the ball movement, the team defense, the group-first commitment is something that takes time -- perhaps more than a single season -- to get exactly right. The Lakers have all of that right now, in spades.  The rest of the league, including the new-look Heat, are simply playing catch-up right now.

GO-GO-GADGET LINES:

Pau Gasol:20 points, 14 rebounds, 10 assists, 3 steals on 9-13 shooting. A triple double for LA's Spaniard in a runaway win over the Portland Trail Blazers.
Honorable mention to...
Steve Nash: 19 points, 15 assists, five rebounds, 7-11 shooting. He's still got it, as the Suns top the Hawks in Atlanta on Sunday. Joe Johnson: 34 points, seven rebounds, six assists, on 15-27 shooting in 44 minutes. Huge night in a losing effort.

Al Horford: 30 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks on 13-16 shooting in 42 minutes. Even huger night in a losing effort.
Evan Turner: 14 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, 6-11 shooting in 35 minutes. Turner, starting in place of an injured Andre Iguodala, notched a double-double in a Sunday road win for Philly over the New York Knicks

DON'T MISS:

BOSTON BENCH HOLDS DOWN OKC:

Posted by Royce Young.

Holding leads as big as 22, the Celtics appeared to have the Thunder completely under control Sunday night. Oklahoma City was turning the ball over at a rapid rate, couldn't score and couldn't stop anybody. The game was on the verge of getting out of hand, if it wasn't already.

The deep Celtic bench was in charge of holding the lead, but Russell Westbrook sparked his club to a quick 9-0 run and then Kevin Durant got into the mix as well, keying another 13-2 spurt to finish the third quarter. The Thunder held the Celtics without a field goal for the last four minutes of the third and cut the lead to nine heading into the fourth. OKC wasn't done either. James Harden knocked down a 3 to start the fourth and just like that, OKC had Boston's lead to six with an entire quarter to go.

 

That's where Doc Rivers did something interesting. He didn't call timeout. And he didn't put his starters back in. Instead, he trusted his bench.

It's a luxury Rivers has the very few other coaches do. A bench that can be relied upon to hold leads, spell starters and in some cases, handle business all on their own. A lineup of Nate Robinson, Marquis Daniels, Semih Erden, Glen Davis and starter Ray Allen, saw the Celtics' lead dwindle, but they were also the ones that restored it. After OKC cut it to six, Glen Davis hit back-to-back jumpshots to push the lead to 10, starting a 13-4 run that basically ended the game early.

Rivers eventually went back to his starting five with 4:30 left in the game, but truthfully, he could've used his bench to close out the Thunder. It was possibly more a function of the bench guys needing a break and the starters stepped in to spell them. Ironic, indeed.

The Boston bench is really what won the game for the Celtics too. In terms of starting scoring, the Thunder won 71-59. But the Celtics second group outscored OKC 33-12. It was pretty evenly distributed with Robinson and  Erden scoring nine, Davis eight and Daniels seven. And most importantly, they upheld the Celtic way playing terrific defense and keeping the Thunder out of the game.

Boston's depth is truly a weapon and something general manager Danny Ainge has wisely added to this team. With the age of the starters and the fact some games will be missed due to injuries or other things, the Celtics have the option to defer to a second unit that can not only stay competitive, but can win. 

WHIMSY:

Fresh out of jail, rapper Lil Wayne showed up courtside as the New Orleans Hornets hosted the Miami Heat on Friday night. lil-wayne

HERO OF THE NIGHT:

On Saturday night, the New Orleans Hornets topped the Milwaukee Bucks 87-81 thanks in part to a super long distance bomb by Hornets forward Marco Belinelli to close the first half.

ONE FINAL THOUGHT:

Via HoopsHype : Through Sunday's games, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom are combining for 64.5 ppg, 27.6 rpg and 12.9 apg. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are combining for 59.2 ppg, 16.5 rpg and 13.2 apg.
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: November 8, 2010 9:23 am
Edited on: November 8, 2010 12:10 pm
 

Shootaround 11.8.10: Right and Wrong

J.O.'s knee not quite right, Kevin Garnett not quite wrong in the head, and a murder suspect busted in Charlotte, all in today's Shootaround.Posted by Matt Moore
  • Oh, those sneaky Celtics. It seems they snuck a Jermaine O'Neal surgery under our very noses . J.O. certainly has seemed a step behind in terms of explosiveness and strength in the paint. But to be honest, we just chalked it up to age. Apparently there was an actual reason, which means he could improve, which means the Celtics could get stronger, which is just terrifying.
  • A Minnesotan discussion of Kevin Garnett's behavior, in which it's argued he's the most genuine athlete alive . I'm not buying it. Garnett isn't driven to these things out of passion, they're calculated maneuvers. That's why he doesn't end up in fights, instead walking away with his hands up after starting something. Intense, sure, but just as deliberate as the outraged opera star on stage.
  • A murder suspect was captured in the VIP section of the Bobcats game against Orlando Saturday. Seriously. Pretty scary because there were so many people around in the public event. Pretty funny because of all the jokes you can make of "Well, if you want to be hidden from people..."
  • Brandon Jennings with some disturbing comments about the locker room chemistry in Milwaukee that's helped lead to the 2-5 start they're off to. Jennings is still learning how to be a vocal leader, but he needs to take the step and say to his teammates what he's telling the press.
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 10:34 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:31 pm
 

Blazers to sign free agent center Sean Marks

League sources tell CBSSports.com that the Portland Trail Blazers will sign free agent center Sean Marks to replace Fabricio Oberto, who retired onsean-marksThursday. Posted by Ben Golliver

League sources tell CBSSports.com that the Portland Trail Blazers will sign free agent center Sean Marks to replace center Fabricio Oberto, who retired this week due to a re-occurring heart condition.  Marks was was one of five players invited to a Friday workout at the team's practice facility, and he beat out Earl Barron, Eric Boateng, Dwayne Jones and former Blazer Shavlik Randolph to take the team's only open roster spot. The Blazers are said to favor Marks for his combination of experience and ability to defend the center position. League sources tell CBSSports.com's Ken Berger that Marks will receive a non-guaranteed veteran's minimum contract.  Marks is listed at 6'10" and 250, and he has enjoyed a lengthy, although unproductive, NBA career that dates back to the 1998-1999 season and includes time with the Toronto Raptors, Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs, Phoenix Suns and New Orleans Hornets. Marks attended training camp with the Washington Wizards this fall before the team released him to get down to the NBA's roster maximum of 15 players. Marks will serve as Portland's backup center, behind starter Marcus Camby and will join Camby and power forwards LaMarcus Aldridge and Dante Cunningham in Portland's short-handed frontcourt rotation. Once injured centers Joel Przybilla and Greg Oden return, Marks is not likely to see much, if any, playing time. His signing will push Portland's roster back to the maximum of 15 players.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com