The Portland Trail Blazers have been affected by injuries more than any team in the league this season, outside of maybe Houston. They started the season with two of their best big men, Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla, on the sideline with severe knee injuries. Now the news has broke that their star guard, Brandon Roy also has a severe knee ailment. Roy’s knees are in terrible shape. He has had them drained a few times already this season, but that doesn’t mean he can’t still play on them.
"I've seen Brandon get his knee drained and then go out and score 30," Monty Williams, coach of the New Orleans Hornets said. "I told our guys not to buy into that."
He has absolutely no meniscus left to operate on in either knee, creating an uncomfortable bone on bone grinding, which just sounds excruciating in my book. He called it a game on Saturday after playing just a few minutes and the Portland Knee Crisis continues to add casualties. Roy is questionable to play Tuesday, and that will most likely remain the same for the near future.
None of this means you can count the Blazers out though. A dark horse pick to make a run in the West this season, the Trail Blazers are a team stacked with talent and depth. They sport a bevy of gifted wing players behind Roy, such as Rudy Fernandez, Nicolas Batum, Wesley Matthews and Luke Babbitt.
Batum has already stepped up this season, averaging 14.2 points, and is developing into a solid NBA starter.
The wildcard here with the Roy injury is Fernandez. He spent most of the summer complaining about playing time and wanting to go back to Europe. This is his chance to show us all what he can do. He has a plus jump shot, can get to the basket and create for other players, many of the same things Roy brings to the table, while also being one of the most exciting and explosive open court dunkers in the NBA. If he can combine with an injured Roy to give them 48 solid minutes a game at the shooting guard spot, the Blazers will still contend.
Roy’s injury may also allow LaMarcus Aldridge to finally take that next step we have been waiting for these last few years. With Roy out or hurt, Aldridge becomes the number one scoring option for this team and if he does that, it will allow the Blazers to rest Roy more in hopes of having them as a formidable duo in the playoffs.
With Oden and Przybilla both hoping to return sometime around the holidays to bolster their frontcourt, the Portland Knee Crisis may be a blessing in disguise for a team with a chance to make a run this summer.