Since Brandon Roy’s return to the lineup following the NBA All-Star Break and arthroscopic surgery on both of his knees, the Blazers have sputtered to a 2-3 record. It should be noted as well that Roy did not participate in the Blazers’ 107-102 victory against the Sacramento Kings on the road, as it was the second game of a back-to-back and team doctors have yet to clear him for that degree of action.
Perhaps the Blazers should reconsider bringing Roy back so quickly after surgery, and rest him for the remainder of the season, instead of attempting to integrate him into the team mid-season.
So in accordance with Brandon Roy, here are seven reasons why the Portland Trail Blazers should sit him for the remainder of the season.
The Blazers’ offense has looked out of sorts since the All-Star break to say the least. LaMarcus Aldridge and Wesley Matthews carried the team offensively while Roy was out, but now it seems as though they have deferred to Roy, even though he's not close to being fully healthy and can’t take on the responsibility of being a leading scorer.
Matthews regained some of his swagger against the Sacramento Kings, but he will be needed dearly throughout the rest of the season if the Blazers hope to make a splash in the NBA Playoffs. As for Aldridge, time will tell if teams will continue to send the double creating open looks for his teammates.
After a missed jumped shot by the opposing team, it is customary to see LaMarcus Aldridge hustling down court in hopes of receiving a dish from the likes of Rudy Fernandez, Andre Miller or any other Blazer that wants to pad their assist totals and make a SportsCenter Top Ten Play.
With Brandon Roy, the Blazers bring the ball up the court methodically, more often than not, which leaves little room for easy baskets.
Not only are the Blazers younger with Wesley Matthews on the court in place of Brandon Roy, but they are healthier and better defensively. He was signed as a free agent to bring in some physical toughness on defense and he has shown that. By no means is Matthews an All-Defensive caliber player at this point, but all things considered, that isn’t what Portland needs at this point.
With the addition of Gerald Wallace, an NBA All-Defensive First Team player, and the return of former NBA Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Camby, the Blazers' defense is looking stiff on paper.
Why is the Blazers organization risking the health of Brandon Roy considering that basically everything that could go wrong for the Blazers, has gone wrong with regards to health? Granted, the doctors have established strict guidelines to ease Roy back into action, but it is still risky given the nature of his injury.
If Roy needs this much mediation just to play on a daily basis, why is he even out there? With the playoffs just around the corner, he needs to be 100% if the Blazers have any hopes of advancing.
Nate McMillan is in the midst of another great coaching job this season, considering all the injuries to his team yet again. He lost Greg Oden for the season, he lost Marcus Camby for a stretch and despite Brandon Roy going down, he has still managed to keep his team in the hunt.
It just might be too much to ask McMillan to integrate a three-time All-Star back into the lineup, when clearly he isn’t ready to bear the entire burden on his shoulders, which is exactly what his style of play demands.
Brandon Roy’s style of play brings a dynamic to the court that is unique and advantageous to execute, when he’s healthy. The dilemma is that he can’t carry the team on his shoulders at this moment, and it's possible he may not be able to for the rest of the season.
Roy’s isolation style offense can only be run by him, which leaves the rest of the Blazers stagnant when he's not available. The Blazers have to continue to run the offense through LaMarcus Aldridge so he can get his looks, thus opening up the court for Rudy Fernandez, Wesley Matthews, and Nicolas Batum.
It has taken Brandon Roy’s injury for LaMarcus Aldridge to feel confident enough in his abilities to take control of the Blazers. The sentiment of the Portland faithful is palpable, as they wait to find out whether Aldridge will return to basketball purgatory, where he has spent most of his career thus far, showing glimpses of dominance, but never being consistent. Or will Aldridge finally shed the little brother role and become a force in the NBA?
Undoubtedly, Aldridge has demonstrated the potential to be great, and has been unstoppable at times during his incredible stretch, earning him NBA Player of the Month for February. Roy and Aldridge are both superstars now, and the two have to learn to bring best out of each other going forward.