Monday, December 8, 2008

Roy provides poor bulletin board material

Nothing seems to fire up professional athletes more than innocuous statements put into print. The chemical reaction that occurs when ink blends with low-grade newsprint must have some kind of cosmic effect on athletes, because the most benign, inoffensive comments somehow morph into "bulletin board material." I bring this up because the Toronto Sun had a short blurb regarding a supposed slight uttered by Brandon Roy, of all people, that got the Raptors wing defenders in a minor tizzy.
Portland Trail Blazers' Brandon Roy might not be so quick to insult the Raptors next time around.

Roy, who was held to just 3-for-13 shooting by the Celtics in a loss at Boston on Friday, let some of that frustration out as he looked ahead to yesterday's game.

"Half of those moves I did tonight,'' Roy said after the game in Boston. "They are going to work against Toronto.''

Granted the Toronto defence isn't in the same ball park as Boston's at this point, but the words struck a nerve with a few Raptors.

"It was brought to my attention before the game and it certainly served as some extra motivation," said Raptors shooting guard Anthony Parker, who drew the defensive assignment on Roy for most of the afternoon.

Parker, with an assist to Joey Graham, held Roy to 15 points on 6-for-16 shooting, well shy of his seasonal average of 20.7.

"A guy like that is going to get his points he has the ball so much, but we made it tough on him," Parker said.
Really? This comment reaches the level of insult that requires it being brought to Anthony Parker's attention? Things can't be that bad in Toronto, can they?

First off, what Roy said is not a diss; it's a fact. The Boston Celtics, by any measure, are a much, much better defensive (or "defencive" as they spell in Canada) team than the Raptors. Would anyone, even in the Toronto locker room, argue that point? If so, consider that the Celtics are No. 1 in defensive efficiency. The Raptors? No. 24. The Celtics are ranked second in opponent field goal percentage (42%), the Raptors are ranked 25th (47%). Boston is ranked second in opponents points per game (91.0 per), Toronto is ranked 23rd (102.1 per). Those are facts.

So is it that outlandish, let alone offensive, for Roy to think he'd have better luck against Toronto than he did against Boston (which, incidentally, he did)? That's not an affront to the Raptors. It's simply an observation of how impressive a defensive team the Celts really are. It's not always about you Toronto.

And really, it's not as if Roy called anyone a cockroach or anything.

Secondly, "holding" Brandon Roy to 15 points in the fifth game of a road trip, that you lost, is somehow a triumph? Roy "not be so quick to insult the Raptors next time around" just because he didn't make his average? If anything, taking into consideration the fact that Portland won, shouldn't the argument be that Roy should always "insult" the Raptors if the end result is a victory? After all, I'm fairly certain B.Roy would rather go scoreless and get the win than drop 80 and leave the Air Canada Centre with a loss. I've got that on good authority.

If, as a professional athlete, you've come to a point where you have to feign outrage to get up for a game, it might be time to hang 'em up.


Chaun said...

I've been searching around blazer blogs and such, looking for someone's take on that Sun article. Most people didn't care because the Blazers won, With the help of Steve Blake. The way you wrote this post makes it sound like your offended or something (thats just my guess). I thought what Roy said was funny. How many times do NBA players openly say another team (well their defence[or defense] anyway) sucks. The truth hurts and thats why such comment made a big dig deal in Toronto. Our teams defence(or defense) sucks, and I'm happy Roy didn't sugar coat the truth.

John said...

Been a long time since the last Blazers Chat, have you been travelling with the team again?

Great job as always.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if it was even a diss towards the Raptors as much as saying that he had a rough night, but rough nights happen. Over time, Roy is an all-star and the great moves he has will work 99% of games he plays whether it is Toronto or the Celts. Period.

Anonymous said...

If you calm down and read a little more closely, all Parker says is that he was more motivated on defense after Roy's comments. The "insult" idea is the journalist's and not his; your conclusion that the Raptors are thin skinned is a sort of echo chamber effect based on, um, really nothing that Parker actually says.

Casey Holdahl said...

John: We'll have a chat this week. Be on the lookout for that this Wednesday.

Roland: I get what you're saying, but Parker must have considered it somewhat of a slight if it did serve to "motivate" him.

j-rog78 said...

Thanks for your excellent in-depth coverage. The Quick chats are priceless, both of your guys' reflections of the team are great!
Thanks again & keep up the great work!

I will be there tomorrow/today to blow the roof off the R.G. and welcome home our guys! 8-0 after Orlando goes down!

Victor said...

Just a little problem: Roy is a selfish when he's the ball. Never, I repeat, NEVER, he gives a decent ball to Rudy. Why? because if Rudy had the same chances than Brandon the spaniard would be the real star at Portland.

Zachary said...

Hey Victor, B. Roy leads the team in assists, he must be passing it to somebody. Who cares who it is as long as the ball goes through the hoop?

BlazerFANATIC said...

Hi Casey,

This is a little off topic, but do you think that Comcast is going to start broadcasting away games in HD. The standard cameras are really blurry on my TV. Since I have season tickets I don't get to watch any HD games unless they are on ESPN or TNT. I've noticed that other teams in the NBA broadcast away games in HD? Any insite would be great!

Jason said...


That's ridiculous. Brandon has been clutch in so many games this year, and is one of the big reasons the Blazers are 15-7.

Rudy is a great player, and Portland wouldn't be as good without him. But Rudy is not yet a proven All-Star like Brandon. (Oh, and if Brandon was selfish, then why is it he leads the team in assists at 5.2 per game, and he's not even the point guard?)

Rudy is a flashy, fun player to watch. But he's not as consistent nor as in control of his game as Brandon.