Anyone who knows Brandon Roy can attest to that fact that Roy is a real calm and cool cat both on and off of the floor. But come Friday evening in Sacramento, the Minnesota Timberwolves guard will likely be a ball of nerves as his NBA comeback tour kicks off in Minnesota’s regular season opener.
It has been a very long and very interesting 19 months since Roy last played in an NBA game before chronic knee pain pushed him (with a slight nudge from the Portland Trail Blazers) into early retirement.
Roy’s last game in the NBA came on April 28, 2011 against the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the 2010-11 NBA Playoffs. Roy finished with nine points and three rebounds in 30 minutes in the 103-96 Game 6 loss.
Flash forward to present-day Minnesota and there is one number from the above stats that apparently will hold weight for Roy to start the season: 30 minutes.
That is the minutes per game Rick Adelman feels Roy can start the season at, with the coaching staff and organization — and Roy — determining how his knees will respond and what kind of rhythm the 28 year old former NBA Rookie of the Year can manage moving forward.
Then there is the pressure aspect.
Roy knows all about pressure having been "The Man" in Portland.
Remember, we are talking about a squad with two of their marquee players on the mend in Ricky Rubio (ACL) and Kevin Love (broken hand). And knowing Roy has the ability to shift gears and take over a game with his natural abilities, all eyes will be on Roy.
Losing Kevin puts that much more pressure on him and everybody else on the team to do a little bit more,” Adelman said.
“But I think that we have to judge it day by day. I don't think we can plan two weeks in advance. We just have to take it as it comes, and hopefully you have other guys ready to play if he can't go.
Roy will not be going at it alone thanks to the addition of guys like Andrei Kirilenko and Chase Budinger, and besides it is not like Roy had an abysmal preseason as he regained everything from his conditioning to his confidence. In seven games, the T-Wolves went 5-2 with Roy usually playing around 23 to 26 minutes per game as Minnesota monitored the situation. His best outings: 13 points in 23 minutes in a win over Indiana, 19 points in a blowout against Maccabi Haifa in 26 minutes, and another 13-point game, this time in a win over Chicago where Roy played 26 minutes.
I have a tendency to want to do a lot really fast, but I'm just trying to be patient and understand that it's a long season," Roy said. "I want to be peaking later in the year than I am early.
Same old Brandon Roy.