Kassandra

Apr 20

Roy has Earned Support, Respect

By Kassandra Posted in: Blazers, BrandonRoy, LaMarcusAldridge, WesleyMatthews

    
I have very little idea of what it takes to be a professional athlete. To be a vital piece of a professional sports team. To be an all-star in a professional sports league.

What I have is common sense, loyalty and an abundance of faith. I know right from wrong. I know not to turn on someone who has provided inspiration to me. I know to give people the chances and opportunities they deserve.

I also know that there are some -- few, but some -- who are treating the Trail Blazers' Brandon Roy unfairly. I've heard wide-ranging comments; none of which I feel deserve to be reposted here. Suffice to say, I am shocked at all of these. I thought those in the Blazer Nation had much more class -- and the great majority does. As with most things, it's just a few misrepresenting the many. 

Voicing criticism a player's performance is one thing. Pointing out that player is in a slump is only natural. Wondering why a player isn't playing like himself is commonplace.

I think all of us would like Brandon to be the player we remember watching the past few years. However, most of us realize that with his recent knee issues, he is not. According to most accounts, Brandon will never likely be the player he once was. The hope is that he will be able to be the player we need.

I don't know a single person who expected Brandon to score just one point in two playoff games, nor play the low number of minutes he played in game two. Both have happened. He played a scant eight minutes in the second game against Dallas, with his substitution off the bench being uncharacteristically brief.

"I came in with 1:59 on the clock and then, boom, I'm right back out," Brandon said after the game. "I don't know what I could have done."

From all I've heard about and know of Brandon, one thing is clear: He is more frustrated than anyone else. 

With the exception of a couple of standout games, He's not been the same since coming back in early March from surgery in both knees. By the time he returned, the entire format of his team had changed. He was no longer the focal point in the offense; that had fallen to LaMarcus Aldridge. He was no longer the starter; Wesley Matthews was now in the lineup. He was no longer familiar with his role; it had changed.

Can Brandon become an effective piece of the Blazers puzzle? Can he still contribute? Is his drive still there? I believe the answer to all those questions is yes. I also believe that it's not going to be figured out during one playoff series.

LaMarcus has taken on the role as the number one option, but there's very little doubt amongst most with whom I've spoken that Brandon is still the face of the franchise (no offense to LaMarcus).

Brandon Roy with his Rookie of the Year trophy

Both came into the league in the same summer draft; both through draft-day trades; both infused the team and fans with exciting play and exemplary character. They joined the Blazers when the Blazers needed them, and needed more players like them. Brandon and LaMarcus brought the Blazers out of the darkest era in team history. That history, commonly referred to as the "Jail Blazers era," had decimated the team's fan base. Brandon and LaMarcus led the Blazers out of it.

He won rookie of the year, conference player of the week and was a three-time all-star. the Blazers began to improve. Fans began to return. After just a couple years, Portland had its fans back and they were proud of their team. Most notably, the were proud of the face of the franchise; a team leader who exemplified what fans were looking for; on and off the court.

So what now of a few fair-weather, impatient and impulsive people (I do not call call them "fans" because they truly are not) who would throw to the dogs the best thing to happen to the Blazers in the past five years? Does anyone really care what they think? I do not care about them. As far as I'm concerned, they can go pollute another team or player. 

I honestly don't know how Brandon's career is going to pan out. Perhaps all he needs is a full off-season to get on track and be that productive and reliable contributor. If so, there's no doubt in my mind that Brandon is up to the task. I have faith in him.

Brandon deserves our respect (and a whole lot of it), well wishes (a whole lot of them) and support (a whole lot of that too). I trust, the true fans of the Blazer Nation understand that and understand that the few naysayers are not true members of said Nation.

To Brandon Roy: Please do not listen to certain comments intended to derail you or the team. You are admired by the true fans of the team. You always have been and always will be. Please remember that.

I remain a fan of Brandon Roy.

~ Kassandra

Note: As I had finished this blog, I visited NBA-dot-com, who was featuring a poll question: Do you think Brandon Roy deserves more playing time for the Blazers? As of 10 p.m. on April 20, 78 percent of the poll takers were saying "yes."
      

6 Comments

  1. 100% agreed Kass. Been saying it all day myself.

    by Cristi on 4/20/2011 8:52 PM
  2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcnfKFIo54Q&feature=fvst

    I don't get what the complaint with Brandon Roy is because he has shown flashes of his former self. The only thing he lacks is his consistency and rhythm both of which go hand in hand. The fans that are over critical him lack clarity and perspective. He's given us 5 good years and had one sub par year. He deserves at least a full healthy season.

    I personally think Roy will regain his former self as his knees are no longer an impediment (according to Roy). The only problem I see in his comeback (and the development of Oden once he is back) is with the poor management and strategic implementation of Nate. During the regular season Nate should have played Roy heavy minutes against GSW, WAS, and PHI (irrelevant games either a blowout or a game we rested our starters). The only point of this is to get your game changer back into his rhythm. Roy will be the deciding factor of whether we beat the Lakers in the 2nd round. Once again he has shown glimpses of his former self, all he needs is an opportunity to regain his rhythm.

    I am not a troll! :) Nate has been out-coached for 3 yrs straight (Adelman, Gentry and now Carlisle). Game 1 was ours if refs didn't screw it, and if Nate didn't let 6 point leads dissipate (call a timeout once it gets down to 2). Game 2 was just poor execution. We weren't able to exploit our matchups against them. Had GW played well in game 1 we would have won.

    Anyways all we need is a win and we will be good! Just one!

    by Roland on 4/20/2011 9:21 PM
  3. Great blog Kass. I said on one of the board threads that I just think right now, the focus should be on the team, but of course, I completely understand his frustrations, feeling down, etc. He should be out there more for sure. He could even be a secret weapon of sorts, if he can come in and put in a good game in either Game 3 or 4. Of course, teams know what he is capable of on the court.

    I'm sure issues will be addressed in the off-season, but right now, I'm just in favor of trying to figure out how we can get one win, then another in the next few days.

    I certainly hope he has a long future with this team and I can't imagine him not wearing anything but a Blazers #7 uniform. Like you said, he has been the Blazers the last several years, leading us out of the darker days and into these years where we are enjoying the playoffs again, with a rabid fan base and the passion that we all missed over the years, as far as play on the court.

    Yes, we still believe Brandon - keep strong, hang in there and let's see this through.

    -Anees, from Prague

    by Anees on 4/20/2011 9:55 PM
  4. Great and much needed blog Kassandra. I wish Roy did have a twitter, so I could tell him how I feel (Similar to how you do), and you know how quiet I am to the players compared to you and EA.

    Mike Barrett also said, about Roy's contract, that he already earned that money, and anything else we, as fans, get out of it is bonus. I agree completely. Roy saved this franchise from being moved, he gave fans a reason to come into the Rose Garden. He, nearly single handedly, in 2008-2009 sent this team to one of it's best records. Now look how much our team has changed, and look how pushed back we are compared to where we should be. It's all because we don't/didn't have Roy.

    If there are only a few naysayers, they certainly are the loudest. I listen to the radio, and a lot of people call in hating on Roy and Oden (even Aldridge last season). Those people to me are pathetic and don't know what they're talking about. They all wanted Aldridge to be traded last season. Hmmm, wonder where we'd be if that did happen.

    I'm going to be watching tomorrow's game in a Roy jersey, wearing it with pride while we beat the Mavs

    by Herr on 4/20/2011 10:15 PM
  5. Nice work Kasey, and the comments Roland and Herr bring up some things to consider. The fans job is to support the team & players through thick and thin, high and low times, and wins over the Lakers and losses to the Timberwolves. It is the GM and Coaches (plural intentionally) to put the best TEAM on the court to help win as many games as possible.

    I agree that Carlisle has out coached Nate in the first two games, though Nate did pay out of his own pocket to help the RipCity cause after game one. BUT...this isn't Nate's first time to the dance, and he should have already prepared his rotations prior to this series even beginning. In the second half of game 2 and 4th quarter of both games, the rotations seemed so inconsistent. Certainly leaving LMA or GW on the court for extended periods makes sense, they are the two best all-around players on the team over the last two months and both are young enough and very gifted athletes. Certainly Dre and Marcus aren't going to play 40 minutes and remain at the top of their game. From a subsitution perspective, Nico will get most of the minutes when Camby is on the bench (shuffling the line-up to a smaller faster 5) and Brandon and Rudy should get a shared pool of minutes from when Wes and Dre are on the bench.

    One thing needs to be addressed with all the bench players (if it hasn't already). They are all professionals and if they are going to be surprised with minutes played, they should be surprised during the morning shoot-around (i.e. we are playing a 7 person rotation tonight, unless we have injuries or foul trouble). I'm not trying to suggest they are 'entitled' to a set number of minutes, but as you mentioned, Brandon has earned his team and coaches respect. That is where Nate & his assistant coaches need to step up to the plate. The assistant coach'(es) role is not just to teach mechanics during practice. They need to be in the ear of the Head Coach constantly throughout the game, lending suggestions, observations, etc. Has Nate and/or the assistants clearly articulated to Brandon exactly what they need him to be doing? Belichick of the NFL's Patriots (I hate the team btw) is masterful in how he approaches games, he talks with each player every week about what THAT player needs to do during THIS game to help the team win. Seems simple, it is simple, but it's how you create continuity. Maybe we miss Monty more than we realize.

    I know your blog was directed at the fans, the vocal minority that has jumped ship on Brandon...now you have my two cents on how things could have been avoided (at least to some extent).

    Go Blazers

    by BlockParty aka Teamship on 4/21/2011 5:53 AM
  6. As I said before, if you want success from BRoy you have to let him be BRoy. He's not speedy, never has been and never will be. He is a highly skilled shooter, crafty, intelligent and strong. He is a shooting guard or small forward. Putting him at point when the waterbugs come in is not fair to him. He is best when he has a good shooting point gaurd on the floor with him (note how well he worked with Blake). Why couldn't that work with Patty? It could be a stabilzing effect on Patty and an outlet for the three for BRoy to help him with the double teams. Note the opponents still double him, they still fear him.

    by Ancientone on 4/21/2011 8:21 AM
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