Monday, March 21, 2011

Brandon Roy Is Coming On Strong After Injuries

Roy has had a frustrating season full of injuries.
Brandon Roy is on the road to a good recovery from his devastating knee injuries.  

Brandon Roy has had a history of knee problems dating back to his time at Washington.  The Blazers were aware of these concerns when they traded for him in the 2006 draft for the rights to Randy Foye.  They also knew these concerns when they signed him to a maximum deal in 2009.  A lot of teams would have been cautious about signing a player with these ailments, but the Blazers made him the face of the franchise. Up to that date Roy had come back from a knee injury before and did not show signs that these knee problems would slow him down.  Brandon had played his way into the hearts of Blazer fans and the Blazers' front office.  He had become the face of the franchise, an all-star, and was regarded as one of the rising stars in the league.

This shows what is done
during an arthroscopic surgery.
In the 2010'11 season everything changed, as his knee issues came to the forefront and have caused Roy to miss 33 games so far this season.  The doctors say that Roy literally does not have a mcl in either of his knees.  This causes bone on bone friction and will cause a lot of swelling and discomfort when he tries to make cuts, cross overs or explode to the basket. Not only did Roy have surgery on one knee, he had arthroscopic surgery on both of his knees.

In an article on Gossip Sports John Canzano, a Blazer Authority, talked to some surgeons and they said that the outlook was bleak.  "The “consulting surgeon” whispers that he believes the best-case strategy for handling Roy is this: A) Limit Roy’s practice reps to almost nothing; B) Play him off the bench in 65-75 or so games a season, choosing rest in key spots; C) pray. Surgeon suspects the Blazers might get 1-2 years out of Roy employing this strategy."

This is going to be a permanent issue for the rest of his career, but since he came back 13 games ago he has shown signs that he can change his game and continue to have success for the Blazers.  Since he has come back he has been playing limited minutes, around 25 minutes per game, off of the bench.  He immediately showed that he can still make an impact on the game.  He poured in 18 points in his second game back against the Nuggets in 24 minutes and shot 50% from the field.  Since then he has only had 2 twenty point games but has slowly returning to form.  He has begun to regain his quick crossover and has shown the ability to pull up for a jump shot.  He has also showed signs of being able to take his man off the dribble and get to the rim, although he still struggles with finishing.

Roy has shown the ability to knock down
big shots since returning from double knee surgery
Going forward Brandon Roy can still be a very effective player for the Blazers.  He may never return to the form which got him a max contract, but he can be a big offensive force off the bench because of his ability to bring the ball up the court, distribute to teammates, his consistent jump shot from medium and short range, and his ability to take defenders off the dribble.  His combination of talents will allow him to be a good point-forward for the team.  It will remain to be seen if he can stay healthy for a whole season, but a role similar to what he has played since his return could give him enough rest to be ready and able to play every night.

You have to root for a guy such as Roy, who has had devastating knee problems but has continued to work at recovering and fitting into his new role. Hopefully Roy can make an impact for more than the 2 years that these surgeons suggest his productivity will last. If we can take anything positive for Roy from this injury he has shown that he is a hard worker and a good teammate.  He has continued to be a team leader, setting the tone with his work ethic and hard play.  If he continues all of these trends hopefully he will be a great player and success story for years to come.

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