Brandon Roy

Brandon Roy is back on the court. That is a good thing.


If you want, go ahead and break down how Brandon Roy played in his first game back as a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves — he was rusty at the start but in the third quarter showed flashes of his old self

That’s not what was important — the fact he was back on the court is what matters.

It’s a long, marathon of a season and Roy took just his first step Wednesday night, but as a basketball fan it was great to see one of the more entertaining players in years back out there. Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune describes how Roy’s night went.

Roy started in the backcourt alongside J.J. Barea and delivered a 13-point, four-rebound, one-assist, one-steal, one-turnover evening in which he sought to get his step back.

Roy was slow to find it Wednesday night, then discovered something of his former All-Star self just after halftime by scoring eight third-quarter points, including his team’s first six coming out of intermission.

There is a lot of rust to shake off. It’s going to take time, the preseason and longer. There will be stops and starts, it will not be smooth. And while Roy can certainly be a big help for Minnesota, coach Rick Adelman may not want to lean too heavily on those knees.

But Roy was back on the court. And that is good for all of us.

Gordon Hayward goes behind Jordan Clarkson’s back with dribble

Gordon Hayward, Nick Young
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Utah’s Gordon Hayward abused the Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson on this play.

First, Hayward reads and steals Clarkson’s poor feed into the post intended for Kobe Bryant, then going up the sideline he takes his dribble behind Clarkson’s back to keep going. It all ends in a Rudy Gobert dunk.

Three quick takeaways here:

1) Gordon Hayward is a lot better than many fans realize. He can lead this team.

2) It’s still all about the development with Clarkson, and that’s going to mean some hard lessons.

3) Hayward may have the best hair in the NBA, even if it’s going a bit Macklemore.

(Hat tip reddit)

Could Tristan Thompson’s holdout last months? Windhorst says yes.

2015 NBA Finals - Game Five

VIZZINI: “So, it is down to you. And it is down to me.”
MAN IN BLACK nods and comes nearer…
MAN IN BLACK: “Perhaps an arrangement can be reached.”
VIZZINI: “There will be no arrangement…”
MAN IN BLACK: “But if there can be no arrangement, then we are at an impasse.”

That farcical scene from The Princess Bride pretty much sums up where we are with the Tristan Thompson holdout with the Cleveland Cavaliers, minus the Iocane powder. (Although that scene was a battle of wits in the movie and this process seems to lack much wit.) The Cavaliers have put a five-year, $80 million offer on the table. Thompson wants a max deal (or at least a more than has been offered), but he also doesn’t want to play for the qualifying offer and didn’t sign it. LeBron James just wants the two sides just to get it done.

Brian Windhorst of ESPN thinks LeBron could be very disappointed.

Windhorst was on the Zach Lowe podcast at Grantland (which you should be listening to anyway) and had this to say about the Thompson holdout:

“I actually believe it will probably go months. This will go well into the regular season.”

Windhorst compared it to a similar situation back in 2007 with Anderson Varejao, which eventually only broke because the then Charlotte Bobcats signed Varejao to an offer sheet. Thompson is a restricted free agent, meaning the Cavaliers can match any offer, but only Portland and Philadelphia have the cap space right now to offer him a max contract. Neither team has shown any interest in doing so.

And so we wait. And we may be waiting a while.