In listening to Brandon Roy on the radio yesterday (1/26), he was asked if when he returned he'd take on the 6th man role and Roy answered in a way like, "if that's what the team needs, then yes." Now with this thought, we could have a VERY good team. Your starting 5, would be: Dre, Matthews, Batum, Aldridge, Camby. Where you have a unit that can run and play at a faster pace. Even with Rudy coming in first to run the 1.
That leaves your second unit with: Patty, Rudy, Roy, Cunningham and Pryz. Now bear with me, this second unit will be a COMPLETE change of pace. It takes me back a few years for two reasons; when you had Roy kicking it to James Jones and Steve Blake who both were deadly from deep. Except now you have patty/Rudy making it rain from deep. DC can hit that mid range jumper and Pryz has been setting beastly screens for Roy for years now, they're comfortable running together.
I don't see a single, 2nd unit in the NBA that could keep up with this. You have a 3 year all-star coming off the bench to smash on the opponents back up 2. It'd be unbelievably hard to coach against the Blazers because both units offer such different ways to attack as well as different paces. It would add efficiency that is greatly needed to our 2nd unit.
The only argument against this is how Roy feels when he comes back. He's admitted to never being 100%, but I think an 80% Roy going against back up 2's will usually win out and when it breaks down, you have patty and rudy that can run off Pryz screens to get open.
I haven't heard anyone really bring this up, everyone keeps making comments on how to incorporate Roy into the starting line up but they've been running fluidly now for months and I'd hate to throw a kink into the gears if you will. Roy's incorporation of the second unit would earn him 6th man, and is almost cheating considering he'd be the highest paid "bench" player. It ultimately comes down to him humbly taking the role as the 6th man for the good of the team. I think he's wise enough to see where he's most efficient.
Come playoff time, when the team is at its healthiest (knock, knock) and they make the playoffs they will have the flexibility to switch the tempo completely when the bench comes in. It's difficult to game-plan when a team can run two different tempos in one half, keeps the defense honest. Couple that as well as Roy coming off the bench to keep the momentum rolling. What are your thoughts of the success of the Blazers come the end of the season if Roy can take the 6th man role? How healthy will the team look come playoffs?