Roy let it be known that he’s been playing this season hurt…. Very hurt. His arthritic knee could put him on the Hell Shelf for the remainder of the season.
Reports are saying that “shutting it down for the rest of the season” is now a “serious option” for Blazers star guard Brandon Roy, Kurt Helin wrote at NBC Sports’ blog “ProBasketballTalk.”
Early in the season Ron Artest told the media he was sure Roy was playing hurt and days later, Roy was diagnosed with an arthritic knee.
The lack of cartilage was causing bone-on-bone friction and there’s no
surgical solution; only rest could heal the knee to its best condition,
Roy’s knee problem is chronic — both knees are basically bone-on-bone.
Because of that there is no real surgical option. He has missed the
last six Blazers games and been in-and-out of the lineup all season.
Rest will help reduce the pain and swelling, but a return to play will
almost certainly lead to the problem flaring up again at some point. It
has been frustrating for Roy because this is something beyond his control.
Despite that, Roy’s played 23 of the Blazers’ 36 games in a season where
it was reasonable to say that behind Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade, he
was the best shooting guard in the NBA. A season where I was among those
many expecting that he would become an elite scorer.
He’s played 35.3 MPG compared to 37.2 last season and has repeatedly
limped off the court. He’s scored 16.6 PPG compared to 21.5 and 22.6 in
the prior two seasons, shot 39.9% from the field compared to 47.3% and
His FT shooting is up percentage-wise to 87.3% from a career average of
80.1%, but he’s only getting to the line for 4.4 shots per game this
season compared to 6.8 and 6.5 per game in the last two seasons. The
Blazers run an isolation-offense to control the pace and maximize the
touches of the best scorer and this shows that he’s holding a lot back. Just see for yourself.
His team is moreso hurt by their wealth of injuries and other teams just
playing better, but Roy is hurting himself and thereby hurting the
hopes of fans of his — like me. Roy can be a great star in this league
for years to come.
That said, the Blazers team that went 50-32 last season is 16-16 so far into this season which is good for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West if the season ended today. The Rockets (15-16) — who sadly lost Yao Ming for the season — with Aaron Brooks back in their lineup and the top-heavy Grizzlies (14-18) will likely finish with better records than Portland with Roy, as he can only be expected to play worse as the season goes on
He’s 26. That age where NBA players like him rise to stardom or fade
into becoming a role player. If Roy keeps playing this season, he could
very easily fade into the NBA Hell Grant Hill endured for years.
He should sit out and accept the standing ovation no reasonable person would deny him for the valiant effort of willing himself over such pain to entertain crowds, keep the hopes up of the Rip City fans, and keep his team in playoff contention.
He should just be humble and accept the reality of the situation for himself, his team, the league, and NBA fans.