Brandon Roy, the Portland Trail Blazers star who has been playing through knee pain all season and has recently been limited to 35 minutes per game, is frustrated with how his game has changed, and isn't taking it any more. After the Blazers' 101-94 win Friday night, a glowering Roy told reporters in Phoenix that he's asking coach Nate McMillan to remove the minutes limit Roy and the team had agreed upon a month ago.
SB Nation Arizona's Jose Romero notes that Roy is sporting a new brooding attitude, clearly being bothered by the limitations his own body is putting on his game. Those limitations were squelched in Phoenix, as Roy scored a game-high 26 points and played 41 minutes -- six over his 35-minute limit.
Whether the performance boosted Roy's confidence or merely caused his frustration to boil over, there's no questioning that it changed something in his thinking. From Romero:
"I just wanted to play. I'm kind of done with the whole minutes thing... So I just told Jay [Jensen, trainer] 'Let's just open it up and start playing. No more monitoring. Told Coach [McMillan] it was over."
Roy said he wants to be more aggressive and more focused. He's ignoring critics and is trying to will himself to playing more minutes. The smile is gone because Roy is in pain, but be also has higher expectations of himself despite his limitations.
Roy used to be a slasher who somehow got to the rim though the movement seemed methodical. He's not taking the ball to the basket nearly as much now, not drawing many fouls, not going to the free throw line. But the scoring touch isn't completely gone.
"It's just built up. I finally said 'You can either keep it up, or you can do something about it.' So I just decided to do something about it," Roy said.
For reaction from Blazers fans, visit Blazersedge.