Will Roy Be A Factor?

DALLAS — Brandon Roy has gone from the All-Star anchor of a playoff team in Portland to the X-factor, off the bench, for that same team.

Roy is also in the middle of a simmering controversy between Trail Blazers fans, some who want him out of the way and others who have a hard time seeing the one-time face of the franchise cast aside while his career is in the midst of being ravaged by knee injuries.

As Oregonian columnist John Canzano points out, Roy, who gets much more respect from opposing coaches, players and fans than he does from the folks back in Portland, doesn’t deserve their scorn:

“If Roy died right now the Blazers would be better off. I’m starting to think that’s what it might take to get him out of here.” – Mike, Salem

Before practice, I asked Roy if he hears the criticism from Blazers fans, who email me and flood online comment boards. Nevermind the scoreless first half by two starters in Game 1. Nevermind the free-throw disparity. Nevermind that Portland held Dallas without a field goal for 11 beautiful minutes with the three-time All-Star on the court in the second half.

The loss is Roy’s fault, right?

“I heard a guy at the Rose Garden the other night, yelling that I needed to get off the floor,” Roy said. “I heard it. It hurt. I noticed it, not going to lie. I’m struggling to fit in. But it bothers me more than anyone when I feel like I’m out of rhythm.

“I’m doing my best.”
Roy’s had multiple knee surgeries. Both knees. His struggles aren’t physical now, though. He says, “I’m trying to figure out when I’m supposed to take a shot, and when I’m supposed to distribute. I want to be aggressive, but I don’t want to be out of character.

“I’ve gone from being the first option to being a fourth option. If this was easy, I would have already figured it out.”

“Brandon is just taking up space out there.” – Chris, Portland

The Mavericks are not interested in any of this chatter about Roy being a non-factor. They know better. They’ve seen enough of Roy over the years to know that even in his diminished state that he cannot be ignored when he’s on the floor.

Roy’s teammates witnessed that firsthand in Game 1, when Roy shot just 1-for-7 from the floor and had three assists in 26 minutes,  and expect more of the same tonight in Game 2 at American Airlines Arena.

“If he wasn’t good, teams wouldn’t double and trap him,” LaMarcus Aldridge said. “They want the ball out of his hands. The criticism from fans? That’s just the world we live in, I guess.”

When asked if Roy was someone they needed to worry about, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle seemed insulted by the line of questioning.

“You don’t underestimate greatness,” he said.

14 Comments

  1. Gary says:

    Damn how can Blazer fans talk so harsh about the guy who brought the franchise back to life? tsk tsk. Without Roy Blazers will go nowhere without having to rebuild again. Best to let him heal up to 100% and make a run for it all next year.

  2. The guy who saved your franchise is gonna be talked to like that come on man even LeBron,Kobe has bad games
    i still believe roy has the skills that made him an all star he just nees to adjust

  3. Semi Kalosi says:

    I beleive Roy will bounce back from these surgeries. He has been an inspiration and an example of determination., still my favourite player! With Wallace in the mix and Aldridge improving, I think they have achance at going all the way next season. For the Blazers to make noise past the 1st round this year, Roy needs to be the Roy we’re so used to seeing…

  4. Fastbreak says:

    Roy is still Blazer’s best bet for a closer. Rusty, out of shape, etc but he needs to go back to old Roy, and quick if Blazers want a chance at this thing. Aldridge and Wallace are great players, but not guys into whos hands you put the ball when the clock is winding down and you need a basket.

  5. Heath says:

    Anyone who has had to change the way they play due to age or injuries will know what brandon is going through and know how hard it is. A few things on his game regardless, he is the best shooter on this team period, if there is a three bal shot in crunch time and I am portland I want him taking it. Second, in those stretches when his knee isn’t bothering him, he is still the second tuffest cover on his team. Those are huge things to say about a guy but they are true and he will be a factor at some point in this series.

  6. glenndacs says:

    im blazers fans..and also my number IDOL is BRoy…Go ROY…win the game and go to finals…GO BLAZERS!!!

  7. glenndacs says:

    ROY is great…for the fans whose criticisings roys ability…mahiya naman kayo sa sarili niyo!!BRoy is great player that ived seen i a couple years..so many times that the team he help and won the game…whatever you say Roy is good all the times thats it period..Goodluck BRoy give your best shot…Go Blazers!!!

  8. Corey says:

    Brandon became the face of a franchise that was on the brink of destruction as a rookie. Cleaning the Trail Blazers title from Jail Blazers. He was talked about as one of the top 10 players in the league just last year and led us to the play offs twice almost single handedly. he deserves the opportunity to be out there as much as anyone, and I expect that he will prove everyone wrong who doubted him. Maybe not by carrying the team, but he will impact the game.

  9. steve griffin says:

    by the way, L337, you are right on, the only reason Brandon Roy isn’t THE guy is Portland right now is ’cause he was out and guys like Aldridge and Wallace stepped up. C’mon, Blazer fans, when others can see how valuable Roy is, why can’t you?

  10. steve griffin says:

    to complain about one of our best players ’cause he didn’t have a great game? C’mon, I hope the rest of the series is great for Roy so some will stop doubting. game 2 ought to be better — anything has to be better than 19 foul shots in the 4th quarter for Dallas? Ridiculous. The Blazers were aggressive, sure. The Mavs weren’t? This is the playoffs. They shot 19 fouls in the 4th (that would be 76 for a game) because it was being played at Dallas, and they were behind. Only reason. In 64 games I looked at, 63 of the teams that shot more from the charity stripe won. That’s why they call them “free throws”. Call it fair, and see how the game turns out. I’m not a coach, so I can’t be fined for complaining.

  11. Adrixe says:

    I don’t get why people say that to roy, He’s a great player and I think being out of shape and being out for some time makes it hard for anyone to get back to their groove. he just need to be aggressive and keep on doing what he does best! Like what ron artest told everybody that roy is the hardest player he had to guard. I wish roy will get back in form and beat the mavs!

  12. Jacelo Calitis says:

    for the fans whose criticisings roys ability…ur the one who should get out of the court…You dont how to be on that situation that every one is expecting you to come out big…his come from a surgery what do you expect…for roy to die and force his knee..come on guys he didnt play for 30 games..but he came out there and ready to give his best…Good job roy ur a allstar and uve proven it many times…I salute 4 giving all ur best to help the team…

  13. L337 says:

    I’m a Maverick fan. But i can say Brandon Roy is great. he’s just struggling to fit in right now cause guys like Aldridge , Matthews improved their game plus the addition of Gerald Wallace makes it tough for Roy to know where he’s at. But still he’s a great player .Atleast He’s trying, He’s a winner.

    • prix says:

      It would be Ok for now..but the next game Roy should make it up and stop thinking that he have the 1st option always, that role goes to Lamarcus already and what he should do is create some space for himself and make open shots, work hard to get open even you dont have the ball in your hands,..I still believe in Roy…I still believe in Portland..