Portland Trail Blazers v Los Angeles Lakers

Blazers coach feels for Brandon Roy, but he’s a role player

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UPDATE 3:48 pm: After practice on Thursday, Roy apologized for his complaints about playing time, according to the Associated Press.

He said it came from a place of frustration. Which is a place it is understandable Roy inhabits. If he weren’t frustrated, he’d be a cyborg. But that still does not change what  Nate McMillan has to do.

2:52 pm: Brandon Roy is struggling with the adjustment from being THE MAN to role player. Which is understandable.

Blazers coach Nate McMillan is sympathetic to the plight.

But McMillan’s primary job is to put his team in position to win games, and he told the Oregonian that Roy is going to have to deal with the new reality.

“The bottom line is making decisions on substitutions is going to be me making those decisions as far as what’s best for the team,” McMillan said….

“I said to Brandon, there’s nobody in this state, including Brandon, that (wants) Brandon on the floor as much as I do,” McMillan said.

It’s the reality that Roy has no cartridge in his knees to speak of any more. And while Roy says his knees are fine it clearly still impacts his game. Which is a loss for all of us because he was a three-time All-Star and elite guard in this league. I miss watching that old Roy play.

But there is a reason that last game Roy played at the end of the first into the start of the second quarters, then got a few minutes at the start of the fourth. Roy is not the best guard on the Blazers roster anymore. If the Blazers are going to win they need their best players on the floor at key moments.

Maybe things will change. Roy always played a smart game and maybe he can figure out how to adjust his game to his new physical realities. But not in this series. Portland has to win the next two at home to have any chance against Dallas and McMillan will play who he thinks gives them the best chance. That’s his job.

Al Horford shows he still has hops dunking on Solomon Hill (VIDEO)

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That’s just nasty.

Atlanta’s Al Horford gets the ball out high, but within his range, so when he pump fakes Indiana’s Lavoy Allen goes flying by. That opens up the lane and Horford attacks it, Solomon Hill tries to cut him off, but Horford just finishes threw him.

Pacers and Hawks played an entertaining, close game Friday night.

Dwyane Wade shows he still has hops with dunk on Hornets (VIDEO)

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Dwyane Wade still has some springs.

In what may be his best dunk in recent memory, he shoulders Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to create space in transition, then gets up and throws it down before Nicolas Batum can get there for the block.

Not sure even Wade saw that one coming.

Reigning dunk champ LaVine: ‘I’ve got tricks up my sleeve’

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine is heading back to All-Star weekend to defend his slam dunk title. And he says he has “a few tricks up my sleeve” after dominating the event last year.

LaVine will compete against Detroit center Andre Drummond, Denver swingman Will Barton and Orlando forward Aaron Gordon in Toronto next weekend.

LaVine was one of the breakout stars of All-Star weekend last year with his electric performance in the dunk contest. He says he debated about coming back and made his decision after strong encouragement from his fans.

If LaVine wins, he will become the fourth player in the 31-year history of the event to repeat as champion. Michael Jordan, Jason Richardson and Nate Robinson are the others.

Report: Blake Griffin has second procedure on hand, timeline remains unchanged

Blake Griffin
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Blake Griffin will still return to the Clippers some time in March (barring any setbacks).

That said, he had a second procedure this week to repair the boxer’s fracture in his right hand, reports Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.

Clippers forward Blake Griffin underwent a second procedure this week on his broke right hand, sources told ESPN. The procedure was a part of the original surgery last week, so sources said the 4-6 week timeframe for his return remains unchanged.

This might help explain why Griffin’s hand looked so swollen and scarred this week. But to be clear, this was a planned second procedure, not a setback.

Griffin suffered the fracture punching a Clippers’ equipment manager while everyone was out to dinner in Toronto recently, while Griffin was still sidelined with a quadricep injury. The Clippers have moved on, but it is likely the league will tack on a couple of game suspension for Griffin upon his return to health.

And no, the Clippers are not looking to trade Griffin in spite of this. So stop asking.