NBA Playoffs Throwback: Houston Rockets vs. Portland Trailblazers, 2009 Western Conference first round, game 2
Brandon Roy dizzies defenders Shane Battier and Ron Artest scoring 42 points to help Portland tie up the series 1-1. Houston bounced back to eventually win the series in six games but Artest would later say in an interview with Craig Sager that Brandon Roy is the best two-guard he has ever defended.
BREAKING NEWS: David Stern has overruled Brandon Roy’s retirement announcement, after an angry Dan Gilbert sent a letter that called Roy’s cartilage damage a “travesty” and guaranteed that a Cleveland Cavalier player would suffer a catastrophic injury before LeBron James ever did. Roy is expected to report to the Blazers camp tomorrow.
At one point today, the Dallas Mavericks were up by 23 points, but thanks to Brandon Roy, the Blazers did the seemingly impossible (not really since it’s the Mavs) and ended up winning 84-82. Series tied at 2 games a piece.
Brandon Roy had a 24 points off the bench in a performance for the history books. This is why we watch the playoffs.
Every time I watch Brandon Roy play basketball I can’t help but feel pure joy. His jumper is liquid, his dribble drives are fierce, his leadership is presidential, his clutch-ness is legendary. When Roy comes to play basketball, he comes to play basketball, all bulls#!t aside. He doesn’t step on the hardwood to land in Hollywood. He doesn’t lace ‘em up just to ink another endorsement deal. He doesn’t play in order to set records. He wants nothing more but to win simply just to win. As hard as that is to believe in today’s world of NBAers-turned-super-celebs, it is the truth. It’s the reason I chose Brandon over fellow #7, two-time NBA champ, Lamar Odom (a.k.a. Klodom.) Brandon Roy, simply put, is pure basketball.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some flaws to his game but the same can be said about any of the all-time greats. This isn’t about what skills one possess but what one chooses to do with those skills. Brandon is a hybrid, his DNA doesn’t read pure shooting guard. He can handle the rock which helps him shred through defenses like a Formula-1 car ripping through a slalom course. His court vision is on par with advanced military radar. All of this comes through stints of playing point guard in college. But don’t label Brandon a slasher. His stroke is elegant and fluid, his range has no limits.
Roy suffered an injury last year and he fought his way back to play in the opening round of the playoffs just 8 days after undergoing knee surgery. From the outside, his return looked pointless and borderline idiotic. But when he stood up and walked to the scorers table and checked into the game, the Rose Garden was engulfed with cheers of pure joy. The appreciation was palpable and atmosphere had become electrifying. Brandon has that effect on people.
There is only one thing that taints the pureness of Brandon’s story. Like a Rorschach test, when ever I see Brandon Roy I think of the Blazers and when I think of the Blazers I think of Kevin Durant. Picture a world in which the Blazers hadn’t dropped the ball on KD. Picture the pureness of Roy paired with the pureness of Durant. For fans of the game, seeing that duo play would be nothing short of pure joy.