Capitals

Brandon Roy says he wants to keep playing

Brandon Roy says he wants to keep playing

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Brandon Roy isn't ready to give up on his NBA career quite yet.

Roy issued a statement on Saturday saying he will seek further treatment on the chronic pain in his knees in hopes of continuing his comeback attempt with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

``The past two days I have been weighing all my options as I try to continue my basketball career,'' Roy said. ``I have decided to explore additional treatment options and an extensive rehabilitation plan. My goal has been, and continues to be, to return to the basketball court as healthy as possible in order to help our team.''

The three-time All-Star initially retired as a member of the Portland Trail Blazers before last season. Pain created by a lack of cartilage in his knees robbed Roy of the smooth, shot-making game that made him one of the league's best shooting guards and a building block of the Blazers franchise. But he underwent platelet-rich plasma therapy over the summer after sitting out the season, then felt good enough to attempt a comeback this year. The Timberwolves lured him away from other suitors including Dallas, Chicago and Golden State with a two-year, partially guaranteed deal, and things were looking up for Roy and the Wolves during a promising training camp.

During a preseason game against Milwaukee, Roy knocked knees during a collision with Ersan Ilyasova, and it has been all downhill since. He had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in November, then returned to practice Thursday and expressed optimism about possibly playing against the Suns on Saturday. But Roy was unable to practice Friday and was not present at the shootaround prior to the game against Phoenix.

He's gone back and forth the last two days, weighing retirement against more medical treatment, and more rehab. Timberwolves president David Kahn was vague on the specific treatment that Roy would be receiving, but said the team hopes to start seeing some results in three to four weeks.

The Timberwolves had set up for a possible press conference in the Target Center media room earlier on Saturday, with many speculating it was for a retirement announcement. But it was taken down by late afternoon and the team didn't comment on the reason for it.

``We're hoping for the best and preparing for the worst, meaning I think the team has to prepare as if it may not work, and do what's necessary,'' Kahn said. ``Having said that ... I'm rooting for him, and am hopeful it will work, but we have to proceed as it may not and thus have to be very open in what we do.''

That would appear to leave every option on the table, including making a trade to address the team's lack of depth at shooting guard.

Roy has played in only five games this season, averaging 5.8 points and 2.8 rebounds. He hasn't played since Nov. 9. The two-year deal, $10 million contract he signed with the Wolves pays him $5 million this season, but is not guaranteed next season. According to the collective bargaining agreement, the Wolves could get the $5 million in cap room back this season by early January if he does retire. The option on his contract, which would allow another team to wipe that money off the books next year, also could be have some interest in the trade market.

``I thought we had a very healthy and open exchange about, we know that we need to protect ourselves in every way,'' Kahn said. ``He does as well. He understands that we have to do what's best for the team. He acknowledges that, and he actually was encouraging of that.''

It's a tough break for the Wolves as well, who were hoping Roy could give them 25-30 minutes a game this season as the veteran perimeter player who could break down a defense and get his own shot late in games that they were sorely lacking. Rookie Alexey Shved is off to a promising start in that regard, but is still gaining experience and has been inconsistent. The Wolves lost Josh Howard and Malcolm Lee to injuries as well and were missing Ricky Rubio because of back spasms against the Suns, leaving them with three healthy guards.

``The league doesn't wait for you,'' coach Rick Adelman said. ``They don't stop the games and give you reprieve. You've just got to keep playing.''

Adelman said he does feel for Roy, a 28-year-old who is facing quite possibly the end of his playing career if things don't take a dramatic, and at this point unexpected, turn for the better.

``He worked really hard to try and comeback and he had that setback,'' Adelman said. ``Now he's struggling again. It's really up to him as to how much he can do and if he can come back.''

---

Follow Jon Krawczynski on Twitter:http://twitter.com/APKrawczynski

Quick Links

The goal that no one wanted: Alex Ovechkin gives up hat trick to set up T.J. Oshie

The goal that no one wanted: Alex Ovechkin gives up hat trick to set up T.J. Oshie

Alex Ovechkin had two goals, the puck on his stick and an empty-net yawning. The Caps held a 4-2 lead on Monday against the Vancouver Canucks late in the third period and the win looked all but secured. The only thing still up for grabs was the exclamation point empty-net goal.

Ovechkin took the puck in the defensive zone and weaved his way through the neutral zone. Once he hit center ice, there was only one player between him and the net. The hat trick looked all but certain…until he passed the puck away.

He easily could have taken the puck himself and fired it into the empty yet, but instead he chose to pass it off to T.J. Oshie on the wing.

Oshie delayed, but with the trailing Vancouver players skating into the passing lane, there was no way for Oshie to try to pass it back to Ovechkin and he very reluctantly shot the puck into the net.

When the players returned to the bench, the disappointment on Oshie’s face was clear to see. He wanted Ovechkin to get the hat trick, but Ovechkin wasn’t having it.

After the game, head coach Todd Reirden praised Ovechkin for his leadership.

“He could have easily got in the red and tried to score himself and it wasn’t even a thought,” Reirden said. “He passed right to Osh and Osh couldn’t go back to him and that’s the way it worked out. It doesn’t bother him one bit and I think that’s where you see a different player than maybe you saw three or four years ago that is not focused on individual stuff. He’s doing the right thing and he feels if you do the right thing for long enough, you’re going to get rewarded.

“We were benefactors of that last season with being able to win out at the end. He’s really got a lot of buy-in right now for doing the right thing. I think his leadership is really in the last probably year, year and a half has really gone to a new level.”
 
Reirden saw leadership on the play. Oshie saw disappointment.
 
Ovechkin offered his own explanation for giving up the shot as he said, “Save it for next time.”

MORE CAPITALS NEWS:

 

Quick Links

Markieff Morris and Kelly Oubre Jr. show how they can change everything for Wizards in win over Blazers

Markieff Morris and Kelly Oubre Jr. show how they can change everything for Wizards in win over Blazers

Most nights, with little variance, the Wizards know what they are going to get from John Wall, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter Jr. They are consistently what they are, both good and bad, and mostly good.

The same cannot always be said about Markieff Morris and Kelly Oubre Jr. Both are capable of brilliance, it's just those moments come and go and sometimes with mysterious timing. Both players help the team more often than not, but can be unpredictable and enigmatic.

Monday night saw both Morris and Oubre at their best as the Wizards topped the Blazers 125-124 in overtime at the Moda Center. It was a worthy reminder of how much the two of them can change the outlook for the Wizards as a team on any given night.

Let's begin with Morris because this may have been the best game he's played with the Wizards since joining them in a Feb. 2016 trade. On both ends of the floor, he  was a force, but particularly on offense.

Morris erupted for 28 points in 25 minutes on 9-for-15 from the field and 6-for-10 from three. His six threes were a career-high. He also had 10 rebounds, a block and a steal.

It was the most efficient night in Morris' career and, by one measure, one of the most efficient in franchise history. His 28 points were the most by a Wizards or Bullets player in 25 minutes or less since A.J. English dropped 30 points in 23 minutes in 1990.

Morris' threes were well-timed. He hit two in the extra period, including one with 38.5 seconds remaining to put the Wizards up four. He also made one with 1:04 left in regulation and another right before that with 1:39 to go, both to give the Wizards a lead at the time. 

The clutch threes invoked memories of a game-winner Morris hit in the very same building two seasons ago. That also happened to be his best year with the Wizards.

Morris has improved his three-point shooting in recent years with a career-best 36.7 percent last season. When he's knocking them down, the Wizards can be uniquely good at spacing the floor, as Wall and especially Beal and Porter can be dangerous from three.

What Morris did against Portland was a major departure from a pair of uninspired games to begin the season. He had 21 points and 12 rebounds total in his first two games, both losses, as he failed to compensate for Dwight Howard's absence. On Monday, he stepped up and helped lead the Wizards to victory.

Like Morris, Oubre had been scuffling through two games. A different version of him showed up in Portland.

Oubre amassed only 17 points in his first two games and shot just 5-for-16 from the field and 1-for-7 from three. Against the Blazers, Oubre scored 22 points and shot 9-for-13 overall and 3-for-3 from long range.

Oubre added six rebounds, a block and a steal and a host of winning plays that didn't show up in traditional stats. He drew a loose ball foul on Mo Harkless early in the fourth quarter and took a charge on C.J. McCollum with under two minutes in overtime.

Oubre played pretty much exactly how head coach Scott Brooks often says he should. He ran the floor in transition and attacked the rim when the ball swung his way. He was more selective with his three-point attempts than usual. He wreaked havoc on defense with deflections, didn't gamble for steals and he hustled for rebounds. 

Monday night showed the perfect version of both Morris and Oubre. The Wizards need that to be the model for how they aspire to play every single night. If they do, this team's ceiling is significantly higher.

MORE WIZARDS NEWS: