There is no “Sixth Man of the Playoffs” award, but if there were Brandon Roy would be the frontrunner.
He was a game changer for the Trail Blazers off the pine, especially in Game 4 when he had a quarter for the ages that pulled his struggling team up and evened the series (even if that quarter proved to be a mirage for Portland).
His performance had a lot of people thinking about Roy being the next Lamar Odom/Jason Terry/Manu Ginobili — a fantastic player who comes off the bench to change games.
Roy isn’t thinking like that, not in the least, he told the Oregonian.
“I’m going to want to push to be a starter and help this team win. The goal doesn’t change,” Roy said Friday as the Blazers left for the offseason. “I think I definitely want to help this team get in position to win and get out of the first round.”
Good. You don’t want a player thinking any other way.
But Roy needs to come off the bench next season anyway.
This is about reduced minutes for a guy whose knees lack any cartilage. Roy can spend all off-season resting his knees and getting whatever treatments he thinks helped the most, but there is an 82-game grind ahead that is hard on good, healthy knees. (Well, maybe less than 82 after the lockout, we’ll see.) Roy has value but the Blazers need to get him rest. Coming off the bench an help with that.
Of course, if Andre Miller isn’t brought back there are question of who will be the staring point guard for Portland, and Roy is already right there, so… still he would make a fantastic Sixth Man of the Year.