Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported on December 29, 2012 that Brandon Roy would attempt to continue his injury-plagued NBA career by seeking further treatment. According to Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune, no one seems to know what procedure he's looking for.
The question is, will Roy's mystery treatment give Kevin Love the help he needs?
Roy decided he would return from a premature retirement by signing with the Minnesota Timberwolves on July 5, 2012 (via the Oregonian). Unfortunately, Roy has played in just five games during the 2012-13 NBA regular season.
He's been absent since November 9, 2012.
Per Wojnarowski's report, Roy has chosen to "explore additional treatment options and an extensive rehabilitation plan." According to Zgoda, however, no one seems to know what those methods entail.
Not even Timberwolves head coach Rick Adelman.
"I don't know exactly what that treatment [is], and that's something we have to find out," Adelman said. "Where are we going with this? What is the procedure here? What is the rehab here? And a lot of what is going to happen with him is what kind of pain does he have in that knee?
"I think we have to figure out where we're going with this. Is it a day-to-day thing, waiting to see if he can go, if he feels good enough? I don't know exactly what he's doing. I don't know how much pain he has in his knee. That's not something I know about; he'll have to tell us."
The sooner Minnesota figures that out, the better.
As of January 4, 2013, the Timberwolves are 15-14. They're .001 win-percentage points ahead of Roy's former team, the Portland Trail Blazers, for the eighth seed in the Western Conference.
The T-Wolves host the Blazers on January 5.
If Minnesota is to continue its push for the postseason, it is imperative that the T-Wolves improve from an offensive standpoint. The question is, do they have enough firepower to make a run?
If Roy can return and provide even a fraction of what he was once capable of, they will.
As of January 4, 2013, the Minnesota Timberwolves rank 20th in the NBA in scoring offense. They're averaging a mere 95.4 points per game.
Even as they play stellar defense, their offensive deficiency has created a point differential of just 0.4.
Furthermore, Minnesota has topped 100 points in just seven of its first 29 games. They've scored 93 or less in five of their past eight.
One could hypothesize that the Timberwolves will improve offensively once Ricky Rubio returns to full strength. The question is, can they afford to place all of their postseason hopes on a second-year point guard?
That seems about as reliable as entrusting those dreams in Brandon Roy's battered knees.
Fortunately, six separate players are averaging double-figure scoring. In other words, the burden placed upon Rubio, Roy and Kevin Love will be manageable.
Unfortunately, their extraordinary balance has yet to breed enough of an offensive output to create consistency in terms of victories.
So where is it that Roy would improve the T-Wolves' offense most? What is it that he brings to the table that others on the roster presently cannot?
To put it simply, the Wolves are the worst three-point shooting team in the NBA. You can only go up from there.
Starts with the Three-Ball
The Minnesota Timberwolves presently rank dead last in the NBA in three-point field-goal percentage at .295. They're the only team in the league to shoot worse than .312 percent from beyond the arc.
He may not be elite, but Brandon Roy is a career .348 three-point field-goal shooter. That may be enough to at least improve their perimeter attack.
As of January 4, 2013, only one T-Wolves player is shooting better than .333 from beyond the arc. That would be the mercurial Derrick Williams at .362.
Conventional wisdom may tell us that players such as Kevin Love will step up in said department, but what will happen if he is unable to?
Love is currently shooting 31.0 percent from 16 to 23 feet and 21.7 from beyond the arc. Even still, he's averaging 7.2 attempts per game from 16 feet and beyond.
If they want to make a postseason run, Minnesota needs to improve from distance. No matter how invincible fans make him out to be, it can't be Love who leads them.
They rank 27th in three-point field goals made per game at 5.7 and have allowed opposing defenses to collapse too often. In turn, field goals have become that much more difficult for Love and Nikola Pekovic—as is life when opposing defenses force Minnesota's perimeter players to beat them.
If nothing else, Roy's smooth shooting stroke could provide the floor spacing they need. It could also allow Love to work more freely from the post.
Without Roy, however, it may just be the same old struggles.
How Far Can He Come?
Even if Brandon Roy is to receive said mystery treatment and return, what type of player can he be?
In his prime, Roy was an All-Star-caliber shooting guard with an uncanny ability to light up the scoreboard and facilitate. His career averages of 18.8 points and 4.7 assists per game display such.
Roy is even averaging 4.6 assists per game for Minnesota.
Unfortunately, the Timberwolves aren't in need of another facilitator—not when Ricky Rubio reaches full health, that is.
The true question is, can Roy score as much as the Minnesota Timberwolves need him to? Is he capable of reaching double figures each night?
Can he at least spread the floor with his three-point shooting?
If he manages to do so, Minnesota will further establish itself as a postseason contender. Fortunately, Roy's shooting touch wasn't lost with his athletic ability.
Can the mystery treatment serve its purpose and cure Minnesota's scoring woes? If Roy has anything to say about it, the answer is yes.