Brandon Roy Injury Clears Path For Wesley Matthews' Ascension

Brandon Roy's troubling knees have knocked the All-Star out of action "indefinitely," leaving the Portland Trail Blazers wondering if Roy will ever play up to his lofty standard again. Roy hadn't played since Dec. 15 when the team announced Thursday he will be out of action for the near future, and he hadn't played well consistently all year.

He tore his meniscus late last season, and had surgery at the end of the regular season. He pushed himself to get back in action for part of Portland's first-round series against the Phoenix Suns, but Roy was ineffective and the Blazers were knocked out. It's been downhill ever since.

But for every dusk there's a dawn, and Wesley Matthews is making the most of his opportunity for extra shine. Ben Golliver of SB Nation's Blazersedge wrote about the symbolism hanging over Roy and Matthews Thursday.

The passing of the guards has been underway for the last few months in Portland, but Thursday night dripped with symbolism as Brandon Roy sat at his stall -- eyes welling, fiddling with his gray sweater, and doing his best to persevere through a trial, his body's betrayal, that would break just about anyone -- before Wesley Matthews went out and put up 30 points, tying a career-high. After Matthews was sing-song serenaded by the Rose Garden fans, he sat roughly 10 feet away from the spot of Roy's confession, and soaked in the questions from a media throng that was larger than the one Roy addressed before the game.

All that's left, really, is for Matthews to move into Roy's corner locker.

The Blazers spent quite a lot of money on Matthews in free agency last summer, and to be honest it may have been wasted had Roy not been kept off the court this year. Of course, that presents another problem: Roy makes a lot of money, and has plenty left on his contract ($82 million, including this season). While Matthews may keep the Blazers afloat, for every month that Roy can't perform, the franchise is throwing money down a hole.

For more Blazers news and analysis, check out Blazersedge.

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