Mike Rice

Jan 30

What Happens with the Return of Brandon Roy

By Mike Rice Posted in: AndreMiller, BrandonRoy, GregOden, LaMarcusAldridge, NicolasBatum
There is a lot of talk around about the return of Brandon Roy to the Blazers active roster.

A lot of Blazer fans can hardly wait for that to happen. At the same time there are some who like the way the Blazers are playing now and think that the return of Brandon might somehow change the way this team is working together.

Let me say, I agree with how this team is playing without Brandon is pleasant to the eye, but the goal of everyone should be to be a championship contender.

If you add a healthy Roy and Greg Oden with a greatly improved Aldridge + Batum, you are in the chase for the Cup.

The question on Roy & Oden’s health and whether they can ever be 100% again can only be answered in the future, but you have to be patient enough to wait on those two to see.

Now the question of the chemistry of the team by adding Roy and Oden and how it will effect the win and loss column is also on the minds of some of our fans.

The fans are especially worried about how Roy will fit in with this group that seems to be working together with a lot of chemistry.

Let me start out with a little history lesson on one of the great Blazers in past history. I have studied a lot of different personalities of players and what they contributed towards winning games for the Blazers. Two of the players that had the greatest influence on winning games and understood how different situations effect different players; I believe you call it pressure in the 4th qt to get the job done, were Clyde Drexler and B-Roy.

Clyde once told me, the NBA is a lot different than playing high school or college ball. In the NBA there are so many different skills that make up a good team.

You need a great thinking pt. guard; you need rebounding, shooters and defenders. It’s not often you get that in any one player. So they have guys that make NBA teams that are the best at different areas like Buck Williams, great defender and rebounder; Jerome Kersey, high energy, great teammate.

The missing factor on great teams is the guy who will step up to the make the big play in the end of a big game to either win or lose the game. A person who will take the responsibility of missing or making that shot at the end of the game. One who will take the pressure off the shoulders of his teammates who maybe don’t have the skills to get the job done in a pressure situation.

Clyde would say that’s why I get paid a lot of money because I understand what it takes to perform under pressure.

Brandon Roy is of the same mind set. He has never been about anything except winning. On his high school, college and NBA teams, he has always been one of the big assist guys along with big scorer. He has always been able to try to find the best way to win games.

He will have no problem making sure LaMarcus Aldridge gets his inside game going every night now that LA has an inside game.

He will have no problem playing a more up-tempo game if that’s what Nate decides is best for the team. If Roy is 100% healthy, and that is an "if"; we will have to. If Roy is 80% healthy we will know with his basketball IQ he will try to figure out how he can best win games with his knees, not how to best get more shots for Brandon Roy.

The future of the Blazers is very difficult to determine now because of injuries to almost all the key personnel.

The future will be bleak if we listen to talk radio or newspaper talk and don’t give this team the time to at least get a little healthier for the future. If things don’t work out, then we can all write about what changes need to be made.


  1. Great blog and I agree 100%. Stand pat this trade deadline.

    by Herr on 1/30/2011 1:53 PM
  2. I definitely cannot wait to see the impact of Brandon's return. I think it will make the team better. If opponents double on Brandon, he can get it to LaMarcus inside. Double on LA and he'll get it to Brandon who will cut to the rim and finish without drawing a crowd.

    by blazerdarren77 on 1/30/2011 2:01 PM
  3. Great Blog! I totally agree- we need to be patient and give some time for healing and adjustments. The future is still bright despite all the naysayers.

    by RedRudy5 on 1/30/2011 2:08 PM
  4. People have their opinions but you gotta respect Rice's. He has known the Blazers (Current and Past) for much longer than most of the fans. Plus, B-Roy IS still the captain of this team. And other than Roy, who is willing to win the game at the end? LA is getting there but hes not quite Mr 4th Qtr like Roy.

    by CJdaDJ on 1/30/2011 2:23 PM
  5. @Blazerfan77

    I think the opposite will be true, in that if they double Lamarcus, Brandon Roy will be open.

    If Brandon comes back, he can no longer, at least in the beginning, be the center of the Blazers offense.

    He has to a complimentary piece. Especially coming off the bench. Brandon is a very good shooter, that won't change.

    I think what Brandon Roy will provide when he comes back is stability. Maybe that isn't the best use of the word but when Nic and Wesley are both struggling, there is very little the Blazers can do to spread the defense out.

    The nights where Lamarcus struggles are the nights when the three point shooters aren't on their game. Wesley and Batum are very important tot he blazers offense, especially since Andre is a bad shooter (deep-midrange extended). The Blazers are going to make a deal heading into the deadline, but I don't think its going to be a trade that will signal a rebuild.

    But anyways, who really knows? The best we can do is speculate and speculation tells me that Cho is probably going to wait and see how Brandon Roy plays when he gets back to determine which direction the blazers take this season.

    by olliertv on 1/30/2011 2:27 PM
  6. roys return... well i welcome, i have to show my regards as well. yes this team is showing great chemistry, and ive noticed that when we have a game come down to the wire and we need clutch shots, we dont seem to have the right personnel at times, are they gassed, too much pressure... or do we need roy, a player who has shown great lengths in pressure, my regards is if you bring in roy now and disrupt the chemistry, and confidence of players such as rudy and batum and in some instances patty, will the bench get weaker. i feel the way to go is bring roy off the bench if not for his knees his ego... some of you might question me, but i think roy needs to be put in check, blake said it best i dont care to start i care to finish. does roy really need to start to show the team that he's a leader. why cant he come off the bench limit his mins, see how the game is going. 6th man isnt the worst thing especially in a season where your not all 100% expectation is small, we need roy in the big picture. roy is an assassin, clutch play taking the weight on his shoulders, and leaving himself to take blame or the fame. but if you dont rest and heal, youll be known as the many great players who never got the ring.....

    by jamie (guy) on 1/30/2011 2:33 PM
  7. Hi Mike,

    Good to see someone finally talk about the subject. Respectfully, though, I feel you didn't address the key point to a lot of people thoughts - that is, out of the current roster, who will be getting LESS minutes when B-Roy returns. You won't get much argument from many Blazer fans on the value of Brandon - he's this generations Clyde, sure, and we're happy to cheer him on and have him the face of the franchise. The real question is - what about the other guys?

    Personally I would like to see management really think of changing things up. They had the chance to make Roy the PG a couple years ago - many people wondered why we got Miller instead of moving Roy to the PG position as he had the quickness to guard any PG in the league, handled the ball most of the time anyway (and still does half the time with Miller here). The argument at the time was to take some pressure off him and let someone else feed him, and we didn't know Bayless would turn out the way he did so quick.

    The Blazers have a second chance now to do this, along with two aspiring smaller PG's in Armon Johnson and fan favorite Patty Mills. Don't get me wrong - I like Miller, and he's a consistant albeit not very ideal PG to have - but I think many share my thoughts when I say I don't think Portland is winning it all with Andre at the helm. It just doesn't feel right.

    So, that's one argument to have Roy running the point - normally it'd even better to keep him at the 2 and get a solid shooting / scoring PG (someone kind of like Bayless, sadly) - but now we've been blessed with even a better option - Wesley Matthews. Undrafted, 10 a game last year for the Jazz and we can all agree he's stepped up greatly as a Sophmore. He's not refined, sure, but he's only going to go up if we groom him correctly. Sure, you can bring him off the bench and say "Hey Wes, go battle Jason Terry or Jamal Crawford for that 6th man award", but I'm a believer that the best 5 on the team should be starting and finishing the game.

    A proposed next year lineup (or even latter half of this season) would be:
    PG- Brandon Roy
    SG- Wesley Matthews
    SF - Nicholas Batum
    PF - LaMarcus Aldridge
    C - Marcus Camby / Greg Oden

    Now THAT is a 5 I can see winning a championship. You have 4 guys that can hit an outside shot (a weakness that really hurts us with Miller in the lineup - as we don't have the Hall of Fame lineup Boston does nor Rondo to make up for it). If Greg Oden is healthy, that's a beast of a frontline to contend with. "Oh, Camby is in foul trouble, here comes Greg Oden in. Ouch." Best of all, it's young. (Camby excluded, but the guy is almost ageless anyway, right?) You have Roy, 30, the 'seasoned' veteran leader, LMA the #1 offensive scoring option, and 3 spot on shooters from 3 on the outside. You have Rudy coming off the bench along with the option of having Patty or Armon running the point when needed. Dante coming off the bench as a 3/4 like he is this season. Maybe even Pendergraph back next year to back up the bigs.

    Sorry for being long winded - TL/DR version: Just because Roy is 6'5" doesn't mean he's best at the 2. Look at Magic Johnson. He should have been playing PF at 6'9" but is one of (if not the) best PG's to ever play. Let Roy run the offense, he does anyway, and just move him to PG to let Wes and Nat keep their starting spots. That's the Blazers recipe to win in 2011. (Oh, and I suppose Miller had to be traded. ) :)

    Thanks and keep up the good work!

    by seventil on 1/30/2011 2:59 PM
  8. What I see with LaMarcus is that when gets the ball, he normally finishes with it, or passes it if he sees absolutely nothing in the making. Brandon Roy will not effect this. LaMarcus shoots, even today, 10-20 shots a game. Rudy, Patty, and Mathews are kind of shot jackers, as in they like to take their own shots from time to time. When Roy gets back, their minutes will be down, as he'll be replacing them, not LaMarcus.

    I think we'll see nothing different except better results when LaMarcus has the ball, and that we'll have a better FG% since Roy will be the one shooting more often instead of our "lesser" shooters.

    It'll only be good. I really don't see what the worry is. LaMarcus isn't going back to being a jumpshooter. Although he has that range, he won't be the softy he was in previous years.

    by Herr on 1/30/2011 3:01 PM
  9. Well.. outta everybody's post here.. I think the most accurate post here is jamie (guy)...

    I think when all is said and done... especially if it's this season( lets hope not ).. Roy will NOT be 100%. It's because of this.. I agree that he should be coming off of the bench, then we and the coaches can see what he's capable.

    Unlike Staudemire, and other successful knee surgery stories... Roy's is not something that can be repaired.. only mended. It's not a pulled tendon/muscle or something of that nature.. it's a part of his body that he no longer has...

    I'm glad this conversation has come up. I REALLY MISS B-Roy... the 100% B-Roy... Not the one that needs to be the hero for the play-offs.

    @seventil... PG... I think that if we look across the league at starting PG's... they are players that have the ability to explode and score.. or distribute. Something, that despite his "Rep".. Miller is very good at. I'm in now way comparing them together... I'm simply talking about the position.. I'm quite aware.. that at 100%, Roy can run circles around Miller.. but that's the question, right? What Percentage will Roy come in?

    The Current Healthy Starting 5

    PG ( Distributer ) - Miller
    SG - Wesley
    SF - Nicholas
    PF - LA
    C - Camby / Oden


    Well.. There's really only 2 positions that Roy Wouldn't come in at.. that's the nice thing about his skill set.

    I'm not saying that Roy should permently be on the bench.. I'm simply agreeing with the post above, that he should probably come in off the bench.. for the reasons afore mentioned.

    The nice thing to imagine in the future.. is that we dont just live and die.. when Roy does.. that he can come in and relieve a poor playing Miller ( or whoever we have.. ).. or can be relieved if he himself is not playing well.. I'm only thinking back to a couple games where Roy was something like 3-17... something that has been unacceptable from our team, unless your name was Roy.

    Thanks Rice for the post.. Has your Crystal Ball told you anything about the timeline of all these hypotheticals? Or any Trade Rumors? lol..

    Go Blazers!!

    by Blazermaniak on 1/30/2011 3:37 PM
  10. there's no doubt in my mind that Brandon has the intelligence to figure out how to fit in. i do, however, have a problem with playing him at the point. first, it's not his natural position. second, assuming he is not 100 percent to where he has been, will he have the mobility, stability and durability to meet the demands of that position? like you said, Mike, we don't know that until the future. i definitely hope that's the case but, if it's not, then we shouldn't be planning on it. we certainly should not plan on just sticking him there until we know the answer to my aforementioned questions is "yes." i think we need to get younger and deeper at center, and any moves to be made should be made toward that end. when Brandon is able to return, i think he'll help figure out the situation. my highest hope at that point is that it doesn't take away from LaMarcus' new level of play.

    by Kassandra on 1/30/2011 3:47 PM
  11. Hi,mike,nice to see your blog .It will be interesting to see what happens.we need help in the scoring department,but the offense gets a little stand and Watch when BRoy comes in.If he can get to the hoop more ,he will be a valuable asset.As just another jump shooter ,maybe.Nice to hear from you. Happy stadium food munching.I heard hot dogs are your fave.

    by DowntownVinnie on 1/30/2011 3:53 PM
  12. When B-Roy returns, hopefully more shots will go in the basket. This 36% stuff is for the buzzards.

    by Tobyus Sanchezo on 1/30/2011 3:54 PM
  13. I guess I just trust BRoy to work it out.

    by occassia on 1/30/2011 6:34 PM
  14. @Kassandra: I agree with you in BRoy affected LMA's play - he's made some serious progress and it would be a shame to give him less touches than he's getting now. That's why I think Roy at the point would be great. He basically runs point half the time anyway (his rookie year he did almost a majority of the ballhandling at times). I disagree that it's not his natural position - sure, he might not be a Derek Rose / Steve Nash type PG, but I can see him doing exactly what Miller does now at least, but better. He is a superb ballhandler, great passer, and most importantly, makes sound on-court decisions.

    Of course when he's not 100% you don't want him running PG the whole game. It's just something I think that would strengthen the future Blazers core, as we could focus on a starting first 3 of Roy, Matthews and Batum. That 3 would be destined for greatness, no need to stifle it trying to fit in to the paradigm of NBA starting 5's or our endless search for someone like Chris Paul.

    by seventil on 1/31/2011 12:25 AM
  15. Rice: Jan


    What Happens with the Return of Brandon Roy

    Finally somebody put some light on the BRoy scenario I thank you. Everything you say is totally accurate. I just read an article on BE from True Hoops. http://www.blazersedge.com/2011/1/31/1965639/transcript-truehoops-henry-abbott-talks-portland-trail-blazers-on-b-s

    This and your article makes my day.

    It is like my special friend says, Cho needs to sit on his hands for now and wait to see what we have when the injured players comes back.

    If BRoy or Oden is less then 100% they can still be better then what is 2nd best.


    by Hg on 1/31/2011 6:33 AM
  16. So Mr. Rice, is it steamed Rice or just fried? Either way, great blog. I couldn't agree with you more. I have commented previously that Brandon can only add to LMA's game by forcing a second option. The Celtics recent win over LAL is a prime example. Kobe scores in bunches but they shut down the rest of the team and the result is a win. Same thing with us on the recent occasions where we have played against excellent defenses. We must at least present a legitimate 2nd and hopefully third option in either Batum, Miller or Matthews to keep the defenses honest. Most of us Blazer fans asbsolutely love the up-tempo and motion offense and I anticipate that Brandon will happily fit right in if it helps the team win. Keep up the good work and don't forget that chicken goes well with Rice!

    by Just Tim on 1/31/2011 3:04 PM
  17. Nice to see the wild one on the site !!

    So Ricey, off topic slightly, but what do you think of seeing Blake in a Laker uniform, when the Blazers are still struggling to find consistant back up pg minutes to equal what he gave in floor spacing , shooting and defense ??

    Go Blazers !!!!

    by armonchick on 1/31/2011 3:16 PM
  18. This is a a little funny.. I must say.

    It seems... (and not just on this blog)... that most believe that a guy who was a slow player (admittedly) while at 100% health.. is going to come back at some percentage less that (cuz he aint gonna regrow something that's just not there..) and be able to play an up tempo game.


    Hope is great, but false hope is not a good idea. I'm typically a realist, and the down side of that is that i'm usually mis-understood for being negative. I apologize!! I LOVE the blazers.. and it makes me sad to watch old footage of Roy and realize how much we are missing our healthy Roy!

    I wish Roy the best.. and I don't care to see him leave, or Oden for that matter.. Granted, it isn't MY pocketbook.. but like everybody seems to be talking about this week.... OUR OWNER IS ONE OF THE RICHEST... sooooo... I'm excited about what the future holds for us, because frankly..(and I know I shouldn't say it..) It can't get any worse for us.

    unless Nate leaves......... PLZ DONT GO!!!!

    Go Blazers!!!!

    by Blazermaniak on 1/31/2011 8:29 PM
  19. Mike Rice is blogging? We're in trouble now.

    Just kidding Mike. ;)

    by Shem on 1/31/2011 9:05 PM
  20. Nice blog Mike. As an avid Roy fan and supporter, I certainly appreciate your comments about his return.

    At this point, I am going to continue to believe, until he shows otherwise, that Brandon is the good guy he appears to be. A guy that is genuinely happy his best on-court friend and partner has found his confidence and unleashed a more complete, and very dangerous, game. A guy that wants to win more than anything else. A guy that has superior BB IQ and one that can see clearly how he needs to adjust to fit in.

    We have been hoping for a reliable, perimeter SHOOTER. In my opinion, since Roy straight said he would never be 100% again, that is BRoy's new role on this team. And no, I don't support him being a JET type guy unless it becomes clear he absolutely cannot contribute meaningfully as a starter.

    The other guys, Nico and Wesley? Well, I think Nico doesn't need continued coddling of his emotions. Either he is going to step up consistently every night, and get the spot that he feels is his, or he's not.

    by SisillaRiann on 1/31/2011 10:56 PM
  21. EowynAmarie:

    Thank you for that input, I feel the same way about BRoy.

    Wesley and Nico will both grow in BB skills. As Wesley says, if you get good, you had best get a whole lot better real fast because opponents are going to key on you. IMO, that is where they are at right now, and BRoy and LMA can help out in that respect. If you have three or four scorers in the game you can't key on one or two. We just need them to get consistent.


    by Hg on 2/1/2011 2:54 AM
  22. I feel B. Roy slows down the offense on a team built to run

    by mbmurr1 on 3/2/2011 2:17 PM
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