The Trail Blazers were flirting with disaster.
It was late in the second half and a Portland team plagued by first-round losses in recent years found themselves down by 23 to the Dallas Mavericks. Lose, and head back to Dallas down 3 games to 1 with little hope of winning the series. Win, and send a message to the Mavericks that this series is far from over.
But in order to do that, the Blazers needed a miracle—and they got one in Brandon Roy.
Seldom used off the bench in the series, Brandon Roy's season was easily summed up by using only one word: disappointment. Not in Brandon Roy the man, for his character and off-the-court personality remained honorable and professional. Nor was there disappointment in Brandon's work ethic, for he did his best to make the most of every opportunity.
No, the disappointment stemmed from the unfortunate circumstances revolving around his two knees that were equal to anyone twice Brandon's age. Bone-on-bone made it painful to play and difficult to rise above the competition the way we all knew Roy had been capable of doing the past several years.
Blazers fans watched as Portland players sauntered onto the court entering the 4th and final period of the game. A somber tone filled the building as the daunting task of overcoming a sizable deficit threatened Portland's playoff hopes.
Little did Dallas know that Brandon Roy still had enough juice left in those tired-out “old” legs to still show-up the defense. What transpired in the final 12 minutes was nothing short of the miracle that the Blazers were seeking. Simply put, it was electrifying, amazing and truly historical.
In one of the largest come-from-behind victories in NBA playoff history, Brandon Roy almost single-handedly lifted Portland onto his shoulders and carried them over the finish line to victory, stunning the sellout crowd and finally giving them something to cheer about.
Scoring 18 points on 8 of 10 shooting, with 4 assists and zero turnovers in the fourth quarter alone, Roy proved his doubters wrong, turned away the critics and left the Mavs in his wake.
"When people ask me what did I do in the fourth quarter, I'll tell them I stood in the corner and watched The Brandon Roy Show," said Gerald Wallace.
Can Brandon Roy perform as he did that 4th quarter against the Mavericks every night? No, but what player in the NBA can? Will Roy be able to play 35-40 minutes per game night-in, night-out for an entire NBA regular season? Perhaps not.
But we know this for sure: Brandon Roy's NBA days are not over, nor is he “washed up” as many skeptics seemed to think. Is it time to trade warn-out old Roy for a new stud to put in the barn? I think not.
Brandon is still a game-changing athlete that many defenders in the NBA harbor serious fears of when he steps out onto the court, and that in itself is enough to believe that Roy is still capable of making a serious impact for the Portland Trail Blazers next season.
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