NBA Best Kept Secret Is Now Unleashed Ready For Any Challenge

Tyreek HardyContributor IDecember 21, 2008

Born in Seattle, Washington, Roy became known for his immediate impact on the Trail Blazers, winning NBA Rookie of the Year Award for 2006–07 in a near-unanimous vote. He played 57 games as a rookie and averaged 16.8 points per game in his inagural season.

Roy is so talented, and he understands a bigger load is upon his shoulders this year. He is talented enough to handle that. He is kind of a do-it-all player: He has a high basketball IQ and he's unselfish. It's rare in today's game to have a player as good as Roy play who is so unselfish. When one of your best players is your most unselfish, that carries over.

If Roy had an offensive weakness during his first two seasons, it was that he tended to rely too much on scoring via the two-point basket, in general the least efficient method. Because of his unique ability to finish in the paint and his highly accurate mid-range jumper, Roy made it work.

Nonetheless, this year, scoring more points via the free-throw line and from beyond the arc is an easy way for Roy to improve his true shooting percentage. Three-point range remains a work in progress, but when Roy is hitting from downtown, as he was against the Suns (5-of-7 from beyond the arc), he is virtually unstoppable.

The second clear sign of Roy's budding superstardom is his increasing usage rate. He's gone from using 23.1 percent of the Blazers' possessions as a rookie to 25.1 percent a year ago and 29.9 percent so far this season, putting him eighth in the league. Somewhat surprisingly, this is one trend that isn't evident over the last five games, as Roy has continued to post a usage rate around 30 percent. He's merely being more efficient with his possessions.

Kobe. LeBron. D-Wade. B-Roy? It still sounds a little funny, but it seems we are going to have to get comfortable with the notion of Brandon Roy as an elite NBA player.