No, Brandon Roy did not look like his old self last night.But with the Blazers down three and just six seconds remaining, the hobbled star hit a double-clutch three pointer to send the game into overtime. The Blazers went on to win 107-106. Roy finished with 18 points in 24 minutes, outlasting a team-imposed 15-minute limit mandated to help Roy recover from surgeries to each of his knees.
Roy was never an outstanding athlete, but even so, he lacked any explosiveness and moved gingerly, playing very reserved for much of the game. But his crunch-time heroics against a division rival allowed basketball fans to momentarily forget the tragedy that is his career.
Balky knees have robbed the 26-year-old, three-time all-star of what was sure to be a Hall of Fame career. He doesn’t have cartilage between bones, and will never be fully healthy again. Doctors say he only has another year or two before his knees leave him with the physical abilities of a man three times his age. Meanwhile the Blazers are on handcuffed by the guaranteed $70 million he’s owed over the next four years.
While the Blazers remain competitive thanks to LaMarcus Aldridge and Wesley Matthews, watching the team is a constant exercise in reminiscing what could have been. A healthy Roy and Greg Oden would probably render Portland legitimate contenders for an NBA title.
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