Brandon Roy hopes to return this season, as he told press before their game Saturday night.
Brandon, we love you. Brandon, no.
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.
Apparently, all it takes is a little public discussion of LeBron James‘ “broken” jump shot to get him back on balance and knocking down the three ball — he was 4-of-6 from deep Wednesday.
Then again J.R. Smith was 7-of-13, Kyrie Irving 4-of-5, and as a team the Cavaliers knocked down a record 25 threes — while shooting 55.6 percent — as they wiped the floor with the Hawks in Game 2.
In case you’re curious where the Cavs were hitting from, here’s the team’s shot chart.
The Houston Rockets aren’t in any rush to hire a new head coach, preferring to interview a wide range of candidates to find the right one. Jeff Van Gundy has been widely believed to be at the top of their list, now that Tom Thibodeau and Scott Brooks are off the market, but ESPN.com’s Marc Stein is reporting another name that has entered the mix: Mike D’Antoni, who last held a head coaching job from 2012 to 2014 with the Lakers and currently serves as the Sixers’ lead assistant.
The Pacers, meanwhile, haven’t made a final decision on Frank Vogel’s future with the team, but all signs seem to point to him getting let go in the next few days. And if that happens, Stein reports that Vogel will also be on Houston’s list of candidates.
Given the Rockets’ massive drop-off on the defensive end this season, Vogel would seem to be a better fit than D’Antoni. But it sounds like the Rockets aren’t close to finding a replacement for J.B. Bickerstaff, although it would make sense to have a new coach in place by next month’s draft.
On Monday, the Hawks played the Cavaliers close and even led in the fourth quarter, leading plenty of optimism that Game 2 would be equally competitive, that the Hawks had something to build on.
The Cavs dominated from the start on Wednesday, with a 123-98 final score that was far closer than the game actually was — the Cavs led 74-36 at the half and led by as much as 38 at one point in the second half.
The Cavs also hit 25 three-pointers, which is the all-time record for a single game — regular season or playoffs. J.R. Smith hit seven of them, along with four each from LeBron James and Kyrie Irving and three for Kevin Love.
18 of Cleveland’s threes came in the first half, also a playoff record, and this was all Atlanta could do:
That’s the kind of night it was for the Hawks, who now trail 2-0 in the series as it heads back to Atlanta.
LeBron James has always been an incredible passer. In the midst of the Cavs’ Game 2 beatdown of the Hawks, he zipped this one-handed beauty into the paint to Kyrie Irving, who kicked it out to Kevin Love for a corner three:
The three was just one of the 18 Cleveland hit in the first half, which set an NBA playoff record.