The basketball gods are not just frowning on Portland, they are going Book of Job on them.
There had been hopes that Brandon Roy could return for part of the playoffs, but that seems out the door on reports by Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski that he will have surgery to repair the meniscus tear in right knee.
Officially, the team is saying he is out only for the Phoenix series. First off, without Roy it’s hard to picture the Blazers having a series after the Suns. Tempo is going to be one of the biggest telltales in this series — Portland plays at the slowest pace of any team in the league, the Suns one of the fastest. Without Roy to settle down and control the Blazers offense, it’s more likely they will get sucked into the Suns game. If they do they lose, Portland needs to be slow and physical. It’s Andre Miller versus Steve Nash at point guard, and that is a big advantage for Phoenix. The Blazers are going to try to be physical but they need to hope they get refs who let them play that way. Things will be tough for the Blazers in this one without Roy.
But if they do win, it’s still not likely he is back for future rounds. Fast healers take a month to get over this surgery, a few more weeks to get up to speed. That would mean returning deep in the playoffs and being up to speed for the Finals.
It’s much more likely he’ll hit the ground running next season.
Through the first two weeks of training camp, the Pelicans have seen their frontcourt depth decimated by injuries to Alexis Ajinca and Omer Asik, both of whom are out for a few weeks. A deal with Greg Smith fell through after he failed a physical. Now, Yahoo’s Marc Spears reports that they’re signing former Knicks and Nets center Jerome Jordan as a short-term solution:
Jordan has only played 65 games in his career and hasn’t been spectacular, but the Pelicans need a body while their two centers are out. Anthony Davis will spend some time at center, but considering the contracts Asik and Ajinca got this summer, Alvin Gentry clearly plans on playing him at power forward as well, and they need a center to at least fill time before Asik and Ajinca get back.
He’s back in practice with the Cavaliers, but there’s still no clarity on whether Kevin Love will be available for the season opener. Love had shoulder surgery in April after suffering a torn labrum in Game 4 of the Cavs’ first-round series against the Celtics, and doctors initially gave him a timetable of four to six months for a return. The six-month end of that is right around opening night (October 27), but Love still doesn’t know whether he’ll be able to play against the Bulls—although he is hopeful.
Via the Sporting News‘ Sean Deveney:
“I feel pretty good,” Love told Sporting News. “As far as the opener goes, I am not completely sure. I’ll probably get with the doctors and see what they have to say. I know that my six-month post-op is coming up here pretty fast. As far as getting the strength back, getting the range of motion, I feel pretty good, so I am looking forward to getting into some more contact, getting into a rhythm and getting out there as quickly as I can.”
Love has been cleared for 3-on-3 practices, but not yet for 5-on-5. If it were up to him, he’d be back on the court, but he understands he needs to follow the rehab protocol for his injury.
“(Six months is) just a ballpark figure that has generally been thrown out there by anybody who has talked about the rehab process for this kind of an injury,” Love said. “I like to think that I am ahead of the game, but there’s different tests and the due diligence that the doctor will go through and the training staff will go through. So all I can do is go out there every day and attack my rehab and hopefully I will be able to go out there and help these guys as soon as possible.”
At the very least, the Cavs will be without Kyrie Irving (still recovering from knee surgery) and Iman Shumpert (out up to three months with a wrist injury), and probably Tristan Thompson too, unless his contract situation changes unexpectedly. So having Love available would be some much-needed good news. But it’s more important that Love (and everyone else) is healthy for the playoffs. If he’s not ready to play, there’s no need to rush back for an October game.