Brandon Roy is not right. Ron Artest called it after defending him the other night. Roy conceded he had not been attacking as much, one of the best players in the Association at getting in the lane and drawing contact has been settling for more jumpers. He tried to play it off as part of the grand design and evolution of his game. He wasn’t settling, this was a ground attack, part of a plan to rest his body for the playoffs.
Right. But now comes a report from the Oregonian that twice already since camp he had fluid drained from his knee — his left knee. Not the one he injured last year but the one he had surgically repaired in 2008. Then Tuesday he left the game with pain and returned later wearing a sleeve over it. Not good.
Now Roy and general manager Rich Cho — along with Greg Oden — are headed to Los Angeles to visit a knee specialist. It would probably be cheaper if the Blazers just put orthopedic doctor Neal Elattrache on retainer.
The doctor will determine the course of action. Could be rest and fewer minutes, could be surgery. It’s a wide spectrum.
Roy is the guy that makes the Blazers offense go. And it is going — they are fifth in the league in offensive efficiency and that has helped lead Portland to a 6-3 record to start. However, this is November and when the Blazers really need Roy right is April and May.
Any absence of Roy hurts the Blazers a lot. He is the core of the team, and while Rudy Fernandez has played well he is no Roy. The drop off is steep. The Blazers would feel it in their record and with that currently efficient offense.
As of today Roy is expected to be with he team on a three-game road trip that starts Friday in Oklahoma City. Stay tuned to see if that changes.
The second round was supposed to be when things got exciting. Instead, the San Antonio Spurs put on an absolute clinic at home, blowing out the Oklahoma City Thunder, 124-92 to take a 1-0 series lead.
Just about everything went in for San Antonio, particularly for LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard, who combined for 63 points. How dominant were they?
Aldridge in particular got anything he wanted against the Thunder. Oklahoma City’s stars were quiet, with Kevin Durant scoring just 16 points and Russell Westbrook 14. San Antonio controlled the game from the start and Oklahoma City never recovered from the opening punch.
It’s hard to imagine Durant and Westbrook are this ineffective again, and hopefully the rest of this series will be a little more competitive. But the Spurs did what the Spurs do, and did nothing to shake the feeling that they’re the favorites to win the west, now that Stephen Curry‘s status is unknown.
ATLANTA (AP) A year ago, Atlanta’s magical season ended with a resounding sweep by Cleveland in the Eastern Conference final.
Now, the Hawks have another shot at LeBron James and the Cavaliers.
Feeling confident after an opening-round victory over Boston, the Hawks returned to practice Saturday to begin preparations for the best-of-seven series.
Game 1 is Monday night in Cleveland.
The Hawks were the top-seeded team in the East last season after a record 60-win campaign. It didn’t do them much good against the Cavaliers, who steamrolled Atlanta in four straight games.
Even though they slipped to 48 wins and fourth in the conference, the Hawks actually sound a bit more confident heading into this matchup, largely because of their improved defense and rebounding.
For the second consecutive year, the Warriors have lost their lead assistant to another team. When the Pelicans hired Alvin Gentry during last year’s playoffs, Steve Kerr promoted Luke Walton to associate head coach and added former journeyman big man Jarron Collins to the bench. Now that Walton is headed to the Lakers as their next head coach, the Warriors will go outside the organization to find a replacement, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein. And one name that will likely not be in the mix is David Blatt, who very nearly became an assistant under Kerr in 2014 before being offered the Cavaliers’ head job.
Given Walton’s success this season as interim head coach while Kerr recovered from back surgery, this will undoubtedly be the most attractive assistant job in the league.
In the last few years, NBA head coaching salaries have skyrocketed, and new Lakers coach Luke Walton is no exception. According to the Los Angeles Times‘ Mike Bresnahan, Walton is getting $25 million over five years, which is the same as Steve Kerr’s deal with the Warriors, now-former Knicks coach Derek Fisher’s deal in New York, and Fred Hoiberg’s deal with the Bulls.
This kind of money has become standard for head coaches who don’t also have front-office power. Tom Thibodeau and Stan Van Gundy both get between $7 and $8 million annually to do both jobs. Given how good Walton’s current situation with the Warriors is, the Lakers probably had to be on the high end of the coaching spectrum to get him to leave.