Interview: McMillan, Demopoulos, Aldridge on Roy’s body control
Portland Trail Blazers coaches Nate McMillan and Dean Demopoulos and forward LaMarcus Aldridge discuss guard Brandon Roy’s body control, among other topics.
Aldridge on Roy’s body control:
He has good body control. He has good footwork. I don’t think he ever puts himself in a bad position, because he knows where he’s at, and he can ball fake and step through. When he gets in the lane, people think he’s right-handed, but he finishes left more often. I think people are always on his right side, but he’s always finishing left. He just has the smartness. ‘If they’re going to play me like this, I can finish like this.’ So, he always tries to create a way to finish. I think more times than not, he just goes to the basket and he just reads the guy in the air, and he just finishes.
On Roy appearing as if he is always in control:
Yeah. It definitely slows down to him. I think he plays at a good pace where he can do those things. If he played faster, he wouldn’t be able to do it. But he goes at such a good pace for himself, where he has time to read and move the ball and do different things.
On Roy’s pace dictating how the team plays:
Yeah, cause he has the ball most of the time. I’ve learned how to read what he’s doing and how to play off of him. And I think that makes him better and us better.
McMillan on Roy’s playing style:
The one thing is, you can’t speed him up. He gets to his pace and he plays at his pace. Whether the team, we’re trying to run, he plays at his pace. He has a style. He has a pace. And he never really gets out of that pace, as far as having control. He’s a great ballhandler; he’s got some point-guard skills, with the ability to overpower you and explode. He’s very explosive, very athletic. And the play sometimes forces that to come out of him, or forces him to use it. I think he’s still learning to play the game, in his ability to shoot the jump shot; to measure you up; to post you up; to isolate. We’ve had to kind of change up our offense a little bit and spread him and get him away from the team, as opposed to involving him in pick-and-rolls or crowding him. Give him the space to work, and normally it’s a side of the floor. Where as in the past, we’ve done it in the middle of the floor. But because we don’t have the shooters to spread, the middle of the floor is still congested at times, where the defense can load up on him. Where as on the side of the floor, they can’t load up as much, because you’re able to space and certain way and let him go. He’s playing more like Kobe (Bryant) than Lebron (James) and Dwayne Wade. He’s playing like Carmelo (Anthony) and Kobe, where they don’t run a lot of pick-and-rolls. They’re scorers. But because of his pace and the pick-and-roll, teams are trapping him and forcing him to give it up.
On Roy’s body control:
He has great footwork. Great balance. He’s strong, powerful, very athletic. Two years ago, he tried to put on more weight to take more contact. And he found that more weight is not good. So, he came in this year lighter. … His footwork is really good in the post, in the pivot, at the elbow. Great pace to his game. And then he’s very explosive.
Demopoulos on Roy’s body control:
I think it starts with his mind. He’s a strong-minded person, period. And then he’s got a unique gift of playing at his speed, and then everyone else adjusting to him — including coaches, us, players, the oppostion, too. He’s very, very unique in that way. He’s one of a kind in that way. He’s got such a great grasp of the fundamentals that the great players in the game look at him and like his game. For instance, Kobe. And when people do that, it means that there’s more than one thing going on. More than just talent. Those guys with great talent, they don’t just recognize other people’s talent. It’s a combination of talent and hard work, and the fundamental foundation that this kid has is extraordinary.
On Roy’s ability to drive the lane and break down opponents:
It’s timing. It’s not just what you do. It’s when you do it and what the circumstances are. You call it a lot of things; I call it ‘feel.’ He’s got a great feel. He uses his body. He’s got eyes all over it. Like, for a pivot player, we used to say you have to have eyes in your (butt.) He’s got eyes all over his body. If he feels you, he knows where you are. And all of a sudden, adjustments are made. And he’s great around the basket with both hands. And his slow to fast is as big as discrepancy as anything.