Respectfully, I disagree with those that proclaim Brandon Roy should return to the starting line-up. Allow me a
moment to explain.
When you're on a good roll it's common to overlook some of the real problems that require amazing solutions. What Brandon did in these last two games was
astounding, granted. As I had written in the Sportlandia chat last night Brandon
was most likely a part of a "triangle" offense (a la the 2000-ish Lakers
and 90's Bulls) with LMA and Camby as the other points. That was before
the two surgeries and expectation to be the star and work the entire
This is the Playoffs and messing with the line-up sans
injuries is just not something coaches do.
What BRoy has done is renewed his ability to be Mr. Fourth Quarter. The advantage of his play now comes from a bench role that continues to astound fans and frustrate opponents.
What is critical, after four games in this series, is addressing the team's needs for, 1) correcting the poor bench production from the guys not
named Brandon, and 2) discovering a more consistent focus on rebounds and shot
selection from the current starting line-up.
Starting Roy doesn't change the Dallas home court advantage, instantly improve the defensive needs or create a team that plays hot for 48 minutes. Simply put: Starting Roy provides an emotional boost to a fan base that's already running red hot after Game 4.
Starting Roy doesn't stop Shawn Marion or Jason Kidd or Barea, Chandler and Haywood. Despite the amazing comeback yesterday, Jason Terry still got a good look at the rim during the last second of Game 4... and almost won it for the Mavs.
Roy was the only one down there to apply pressure on Terry, and that was AFTER he missed a jump shot at the other end of the court.
This cannot be a topic that gets a lot of attention because ultimately it's about rewarding Brandon Roy for a magnificent performance that should never have been required had the entire team been shooting better, playing stronger and reacting to Dallas's interchangeable ice-cold defense and red-hot offensive pushes for three quarters.
So let's drop the talk about what chair Brandon should sit in, like he was challenging for rank in a high school band. Getting the Blazer's Front Five to attack the paint, set the shots,
crash the boards and play all of Game 5 as though it was the fourth
quarter of Game 4 are the matters of importance to discuss.
components together, coupled with a good dose of fear that gets into
Dallas every time BRoy steps off the bench, could very well tip the scale toward
the Blazers tomorrow evening in American Airlines Arena.
Then we can talk about Game 6 and what adjustments can be made from the bench. In which case I'm pretty sure Brandon Roy will have some poignant thoughts to offer.