Brandon Roy is not going to be 100%, probably ever again, but he’s not going to be anywhere close to it this season. It makes sense that he wants to come back. After all, the Blazers are in position to make the playoffs. Having Roy in any capacity could be the difference in a first and second round exit. He could be the difference in the Blazers making a run. But that run ends in the second round.
The Blazers aren’t winning the NBA title this season. Not with five of their players having gone through knee surgery this season. Not with the level of exertion they’ll need just to get there. Not with what it’s taken for them to stick around this season so far. And not with the competition they face in the playoffs. It’s true, absolutely, that anything can happen. This is sports. But the NBA doesn’t have teams that make crazy runs from the seventh or eighth seed to the Finals. And if Roy won’t be competing for a championship, there’s no reason to put more wear and tear on him.
Sure, he won’t come back 100% next year. But he’ll come back closer than he will this season. And at this point, every percentage point of Brandon Roy we can get will be worth it. Especially if the team is able to make some offseason moves to make the team into a contender, built around LaMarcus Aldridge, Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum. There’s a chance that Roy can come back, put together a solid season, and try and make a special run for it. This is not it.
The Blazers have played so well without so much, you have to wonder if Nate McMillan isnt’ a coach of the year candidate. The team has zero quit in them. But a full ten months off will at least decrease the chances of a repeat need for surgery and allow for some uninterrupted play which is worth sacrificing this year.
But Roy will probably return, because he really does battle and wants to help his team. And it will probably be painful and he won’t look right for much of it and will only seek to remind the Blazers of the loss of promise. The continuing legacy of this Blazers team will provide fans with hope they know they can’t believe in, and it’s really no one ‘s fault.
Jimmy Butler wants Mason Plumlee to pay fine after scuffle (video)
Plumlee lowered his head and tried to barrel through Butler’s chest on a Butler screen. Butler fell and retaliated by putting Plumlee in a leg lock, causing Plumlee to fall.
You might remember a leg lock as what Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova did to Bulls forward Taj Gibson during last year’s playoffs. For all the talk then of Dellavedova being a dirty player, Butler seems particularly aggrieved after getting a technical foul, which comes with a $2,500 fine – the same penalty Dellavedova eventually received. (Plumlee got a flagrant foul.)
“He thought he was playing football for a second there,” Butler said. “Almost had to let the Fort Greene Projects out of me, Brooklyn, you know what I’m saying?”
It was said tongue in cheek considering Gibson was a few feet over and Butler wanted to draw some laughs. Gibson is a Brooklyn native and grew up in the Fort Greene Projects while Butler grew up in Tomball, Texas.
It was no laughing matter when he said he would find a way to approach Plumlee about the fine money, jokingly suggesting he would have his agent email him at “Mr. Dukie@yahoo.com or something” and made a joke about Mike Dunleavy applauding Plumlee’s act.
Plumlee and Dunleavy are products of Duke University.
“Yeah, he cost me 2,500,” Butler said. “I’m not happy about that. Gonna ask him to pay me back and I’m not playing.”
“It’s nothing punitive,” Skiles said after the Magic’s shootaround.
“It’s just we feel like we’ve got to try to find a little bit better balance. I’d like Victor to have some more opportunities like he’s had a little bit in the past where he can be on top of the floor and attack and get a little bit more vertical and not only get to the rim but just be a little bit more on the attack but not necessarily start the game that way.”
Here are the offensive/defensive/net ratings for the
Former starting lineup: 94.7/111.2/-16.5
New starting lineup: 117.2/90.3/+26.8
The new unit has played just 33 minutes in two games, so major sample-size caveats apply. But I like idea of seeing more of what has worked.
I suspect Skiles also wants to keep his players from becoming content. At 6-8 and coming off three straight seasons outside the playoffs, they should have no reason to feel satisfied, but the hard-driving Skiles will be proactive.
If Oladipo – whose defense Skiles values – can get sent to the bench, anyone can.
At some point, the Magic must determine whether Oladipo and Payton – both below-average 3-point shooters – can share a backcourt. But it’s also worth knowing whether Oladipo can excel as a super sub leading bench players.
This switch might help the Magic win now, but at worse, it’ll give them more information for evaluating their young roster. Seems smart all around.
Dwight Howard says he’s cleared to play back-to-backs
Houston’s defense is 1.9 points per 100 possessions better this season when Howard is on the court and the Rockets are stronger on the glass. The problem is the offense is 7.8 points per 100 worse with Howard on the court. How much of that can be changed with some roster tweaks — like limiting the time James Harden and Ty Lawson share the court — and how much is due to Howard demanding touches and not doing enough with them we will find out quickly.