NBA: Backseat To Camby/Brandon Roy

By Zack Cimini

Portland’s become accustomed to revamping their rosters due to injuries the past few years. Somehow their bench players have been able to produce and translate Nate McMillan’s system into wins. Whatever it is, the spell of injuries usually continue to plague the Blazers throughout the year. For a change, the Trailblazers have players actually returning to the court. The percentage of their health remains up in the air.

For Marcus Camby he is obviously a 16 year NBA veteran. He still is a force though and a potential double double machine on a given night. His length is what the Trailblazers need desperately. They’ll no longer have to rely on LaMarcus Aldridge to play the five. Expect Joel Pryzbilla and Camby to split time and average around twenty plus minutes a game. When Camby is back in NBA shape he’ll likely creep closer to the thirty minute range.

The big shake up for fantasy owners is how Brandon Roy’s return is going to affect the key contributors of the Trailblazers. Roy’s knee woes aren’t going to go away. He is young though so may be able to handle the recovery better than others. Doubtful, but we will see. Obviously he is a capable All-Star, but when he was on the court this year he looked two of lost more than a few steps. The Blazers have a lot invested in Roy, and will not over exert him.

From a fantasy standpoint we don’t believe Aldridge takes a backseat at all. He has moved to the leader of this team and will be the number one option from here on. As any big man dominant player should be in the NBA. The three guys that may get lost in the shuffle on any given night would be Wesley Matthews, Rudy Fernandez, and Nicholas Batum. With Fernandez being hurt the worst since he is a non starter in the Blazers current rotation.

Keep in mind, at the start of the season, Wesley Matthews was playing his old role that he filled spectacularly last year with the Jazz. A top bench player that was playing behind Roy. In that early season role, Matthews struggled to get consistent minutes. As a result his reliability was shaky. He only averaged 9.5 points in those eleven contests. Adjusting to a new team is always hard.

How McMillan handles Matthews minutes will be interesting. From the start Roy should be coming off the bench for at least ten to twelve games. Will Matthews play rise or decline with the pressure of Roy in the back of his mind? Matthews went undrafted in many fantasy basketball drafts before being a hot commodity on the waiver wire.


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