DALLAS – Portland’s Brandon Roy is not the player he used to be.
Roy will probably never be the same guy who was voted an All-Star the previous three seasons. His knees, both of which were cleaned out in January operations, just won’t let that happen. He’s gone from being Portland’s focal point to a bench player.
But the Mavs’ respect for Roy remains intact, even after he produced only two points on 1-of-7 shooting in Portland’s Game 1 loss.
“You don’t underestimate greatness,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. “We consider him a major threat. We game plan for him as such. He didn’t score much, but we know he’s extremely dangerous.”
The Mavs base that on recent evidence. Roy scored 21 points in 28 minutes during Portland’s March 15 win over the Mavs. He hasn’t scored more than 11 points in 15 games since that night, but he was a major factor in the Blazers’ win over the Mavs on April 3, when Portland ran its offense through Roy in the post during a 38-point second quarter.
The Blazers will continue to get the ball to the 6-foot-6, 211-pound Roy on the block. It’s no secret that they want to force 6-foot-2 Jason Terry to fight against his much bigger foe.
“You take advantage of the defense,” Portland coach Nate McMillan said. “If we have a matchup, we want to go to that matchup. Then that matchup has to produce.”
Roy didn’t produce in Game 1. If he comes up short again tonight, the Blazers will pack an 0-2 deficit when they board the plane to Portland.