It’s that bad.
Brandon Roy wants back in — he’s had both knees operated on one month ago and now gotten the go ahead to practice with the team. Because he is as competitive as anyone in the league he wants to play and push the Trail Blazers into the playoffs.
But the Blazers have some serious questions to ask themselves about how and when to use Roy. Because his time with them is limited.
His knees are that bad. John Canzano at the Oregonian spoke to one of the surgeons who consulted on Roy, and the picture is bleak.
Consulting surgeon said that the Blazers had already operated twice before on Roy’s knee, and the surgeon said, “Either the original doctor who did those procedures wasn’t forthcoming with the Blazers… or the team was in complete denial about what was going on with his knees…”
The “consulting surgeon” whispers that he believes the best-case strategy for handling Roy is this: A) Limit Roy’s practice reps to almost nothing; B) Play him off the bench in 65-75 or so games a season, choosing rest in key spots; C) pray.
Surgeon suspects the Blazers might get 1-2 years out of Roy employing this strategy. Right now, I think they’d take that, and hope for the best. Roy is a fierce competitor and I won’t count him out.
That is depressing. We knew Roy had no meniscus left in his knees, but still this just hits home somehow. Roy is a competitor but that will not grow cartilage in his knee. And that is the only way he becomes the Roy of a couple years ago again.
The real question becomes this: If the Blazers knew his knees were this bad — and you can bet the surgeons from before told them the facts about Roy’s knees — why did they sign him to a five-year max extension? Roy is in the first year of a five-year deal, $83 million right now and that deal is going to hold back the Blazers rebuilding efforts down the line. In light of the medical evidence, it’s hard to see why this deal was struck.
The NBA’s award season seems more wide open than ever.
Ben Simmons was going to enter the season as the heavy favorite to win Rookie of the Year, but with him out injured the door is flung open to a lot of players. Coach of the Year is always a game of “which coach exceeds expectations.” Even MVP seems more open with Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant — the award winners the past three seasons — teamed up in the Bay Area.
In this latest PBT Extra I throw out my predictions for the awards, but let’s get on with the games next week and see who earns them.
During the ProBasketballTalk podcast with Sixers coach Brett Brown, you could hear the frustration in his voice. He has all these talented young front line players — Joel Embiid, Nerlens Noel, Ben Simmons, Dario Saric, Jahlil Okafor — but he can’t begin to figure out how they all fit together if he can’t get them on the court at the same time.
That problem just got worse.
The Sixers announced that Nerlens Noel will miss time following surgery to deal with soreness in his left knee. Here is the word from the press release itself:
During the normal course of evaluation and treatment for his left adductor strain, which was identified on October 6, Noel reported localized soreness in his left knee. After consulting with multiple specialists, the source of the soreness was identified as inflamed plica. Noel has elected to address the injury via a minor surgical procedure in the coming days.
The team gives no timeline for Noel’s return. Soreness from the plica — a band of tissue around the knee that is not important following birth — happens in some players and can be fixed by an arthroscopic surgery that removes the area being irritated. While the surgery is minor, it usually takes around six weeks to bounce back from this.
That likely means a little more run for Jahlil Okafor (just coming back from an injury of his own) and Richaun Holmes. But it’s just another injury setback for a Sixers team plagued by them.
The Sixers also announced that Jerryd Bayless will not have surgery on his wrist, but will remain out and be evaluated in two weeks.
This was flat out incredible.
After a back-and-forth, even series between the Minnesota Lynx and the Los Angeles Sparks, it came down to the final seconds (although maybe it shouldn’t have, the WNBA admitted Friday the referees missed a call with 1:14 left, giving the Sparks’ Nneka Ogwumike a bucket on a shot after the shot clock expired).
The biggest stars took over at the end, as you can see in the video above: L.A.’s Candace Parker drives and scores with 19 seconds left putting the Sparks up 75-74; Minnesota responded with a Maya Moore jumper to take the lead back, then it came down to Ogwumike (the WNBA’s 2016 MVP) getting the ball after a block by Sylvia Fowles and following it up with a fadeaway bucket that gave Los Angeles the title.
Congrats to Candace Parker on the win, after how she’s been overlooked on the awards circuit in the WNBA this season, this is some sweet revenge.
Pelicans point guard Jrue Holiday is away from the team as his wife, Lauren Holiday, battles a brain tumor.
First, Lauren gave birth to a healthy daughter.
Now, more good news.
John Reid of The Times-Picayune:
Hopefully, the Holidays continue to find good health.