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.