“Brandon Roy is gonna fight!”

04.25.10 7 years ago 34 Comments

Brandon Roy (photo. Aaron Hewitt)

So it wasn’t exactly Willis Reed or Daniel LaRusso, but the scene in Portland when Brandon Roy stepped back onto the court yesterday was pretty amazing nonetheless. After the Blazers got bass-taped by Phoenix twice in a row, they activated their superstar at the last minute for Game 4, about a week following his knee surgery. Clearly far from 100 percent and all but dragging his leg around, Roy (10 pts, 4-10 FG) still gave the team and the crowd an emotional lift and managed to play a key role as Portland pulled even in the series … Roy came off the bench in the first quarter, scoring on an easy layup that he created with off-the-ball movement, and a couple possessions later he muscled Jason Richardson going to the rack for another layup. He didn’t score again until the fourth quarter, when — as LaMarcus Aldridge (31 pts, 11 rebs) and Nate McMillan said afterward — it was Roy’s presence more than anything that helped them pull out the win. Roy hit a clutch trey with five minutes left that put Portland up six, and a couple minutes later gave J-Rich some joystick moves before drilling a step-back J over him. Just having him on the court forced Phoenix’s defense to adjust and made things easier for LaMarcus and Andre MillerNic Batum will be one of those guys who perpetually looks like he’s 15 years old. But with that comes the ability to get away with not living up to his potential longer than other players. Think about it: Jamal Crawford is 30, but since he looks young, some people still lump him into that “young guys” category. When in reality, Crawford should be on the decline soon. Batum clearly has talent, but even if he hasn’t put it all together by the time he’s 28, you’ll still hear people talking about his potential because he’ll look 22 … We don’t want to put too much on one game of a first-round series, but if the Lakers lose Game 5 against the Thunder, Kobe Bryant may never reach the Jordan standard he’s after. The Lakers simply got their asses handed to them in OKC, and now with the series tied 2-2, Kobe cannot afford to let this one slip away. Never mind that MJ never lost in the first round after hitting his prime; he certainly never lost to an 8-seed … Kobe had just 12 points (5-10 FG), and the only positive you could get for the Lakers was that their offense was balanced: Six guys scored in double figures and nobody had more than 13 points. But that was it. OKC basically took their game plan from the second half of Game 3 and implemented it for all of Game 4. They forced L.A. to jack up too many outside shots — which they weren’t hitting — while OKC attacked the rim and either scored or got fouled. Kevin Durant led the way with 22 points, and Russell Westbrook (18 pts) is in full attack mode now that he knows nobody L.A. sticks in front of him can slow him down. Eric Maynor (13 pts) was even doing work off the bench, shredding the Lakers’ guards …

Brandon Jennings (photo. Nicky Woo)

It’s safe to watch Bucks/Hawks again. We said the Bucks weren’t going to win unless Brandon Jennings and John Salmons could play well at the same time and stop alternating good games, and yesterday they both showed up. Jennings had 13 points in the win, while Salmons scored 22 on 9-for-11 shooting. It seemed every shot Salmons made was a mid-range pull-up or a mid-range J coming off a screen. He played patient and found his spots like a surgeon … Breaking news: Jerry Stackhouse can still dunk. He got out on the break and threw down a little one-hander that wasn’t exactly vintage but did get the job done. If Cherokee Parks was around, he actually could have blocked that one … How about Jennings looking like an extra on “Six Feet Under” with the all-black suit for the press conference? And did you see him dancing on the court while the game was still going? That should get him a lot of hate, unless of course that rule only applies to LeBron and his haters … The last time Charlotte had a home playoff game (May 12, 2002), Baron Davis, George Lynch, David Wesley, P.J. Brown and Elden Campbell were starting for the good guys, a.k.a. the Hornets, with the immortal Lee Nailon as the sixth man. Yesterday the Charlotte Bobcats hosted the franchise’s first postseason game, a must-win against the Magic that the ‘Cats lost … In what’s become the theme of this series, Dwight Howard (13 pts, 8 rebs, 7 blks) swatted everything that crossed his face and threw down some teeth-rattling dunks in the spare moments he wasn’t in foul trouble. Dwight fouled out with 3:30 left, but again as usual, Jameer Nelson (32 pts) picked up the slack and Charlotte just couldn’t get a bucket when they needed one most … One time Stephen Jackson ripped Vince Carter and took off for a breakaway score while Vince pretended to chase him at approximately 27% speed. Isn’t Capt. Jack supposed to be the injured one? It hasn’t really mattered yet, but Vince is struggling. Yesterday he had 10 points and zero assists with five turnovers … We’re out like Lee Nailon …

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