Although Roy didn’t mention names, he is clearly frustrated with his backcourt pairing with Miller. Roy wants to be surrounded by shooters like former teammates Steve Blake and Travis Outlaw, who gave him space to penetrate and create. Miller, although extremely effective and smart, frustrates Roy because he struggles with his outside shot, allowing teams to play off him and more easily trap Roy.
To make matters worse, Roy continues to struggle with his aching knees, and no other Blazers besides Matthews are hitting outside shots to make teams play honest. It has resulted in the Blazers being engaged in a nightly grind-it-out struggle for 48 minutes.
“I don’t know how people want us to play, because this is the personnel we have,” Roy said. “I wasn’t that slow until you put a guy who is kind of slow next to me. I’ve always been kind of slow … not to be controversial at all, but I was slow my rookie year, and now it’s …”
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Frustrated, Roy shook his head.
“A lot has changed. That’s why it’s just delicate. With how I was able to play early in my career, I always said I was happy because of the situation I came into. I had this, this, this, and I didn’t have to change. Now that we have to adjust … some of it is we are running into rhythm problems, consistently.”
I yearn for the days of players who would just say, “Hey — I stink right now. I’m not making shots and I’m letting my teammates down. I need to play better if this whole franchise is going to be built around me. My bad.”
And trust me, those days did exist. I’ve heard some of the best players in sports say those words. I certainly don’t hear them very often anymore, though. And it’s hard for me to imagine a guy following a 4-for-16 game with a 3-for-16 game and then throwing his teammates under the bus.