I hate to bring up that terrible Wizards loss to Portland. Ok, I already did in my Pac-NW recap. In any case, the honor of Caron Butler must be defended. So, I will attempt to quell any thoughts of Caron being a dirty player….like one Kobe Bryant.
In the live game blog on Bullets Forever, this is what I said:
Funny play to end the [Update: it happened at the end of the 1st, I originally had 2nd] quarter…Caron attempts a 3 at the buzzer, he misses…it looks like Roy goes into him, they both go down hard. But Caron gets right up, Baby Brandon needs the trainer to come help him. The replay shows that Caron “might” have grabbed Roy.
In the comments section, ItsMrHarris2u wrote this:
Baby Brandon just had his season ended by a Kobe wanna-be attempt to draw a foul. Pathetic play that shows alot about Coran. You NEVER grab someone and pull them down. What a POS.
Let’s remember, as the Oregonian reminds us, that Brandon Roy was already hurt before the play in question: [UPDATE: As pointed out in the comments section, I was wrong. Roy's groin was not previously hurt. The play with Caron came at the end of the 1st quarter....for some reason I thought it happened before the half.]
Roy left the game at the end of the first quarter with a right groin strain, then returned midway through the second quarter, only to leave again for good minutes later after aggravating the injury.
Mike Barrett of the “official” Blazers Blog doesn’t call Caron dirty, but does place the onus on Butler:
Caron Butler went up for a shot, and in an effort to create a foul on the play, locked arms with Brandon Roy. It pulled Roy into a very awkward landing, and being he didn’t let up until Roy was already bent in half with his right leg tucked under him, it caused an injury to Roy’s right groin muscle.
My “baby” comment was more referencing youth than attitude. I am a fan of Brandon Roy and I definitely do not like seeing the guy get injured.
It’s hard to tell from the side angle if it’s truly what everyone thinks it is, a “Kobe-esque” move by Caron.
I will tell you this about Caron, he’s not the traditional “hold your follow through” type of shooter. This video is the best example I could find without wasting too much time: Caron draining 5 straight threes against the Mavericks. Notice how quickly his arms retreat to his hips after the release. Now, factor in that Butler’s shot against Roy was at the buzzer, when players are more likely to pull the string on the release.
The highlights from NBA.com show both the side and the back angle, which is much more definitive. I’ve watched the clip dozens of times and have tried my damndest to capture a screen shot to no avail. However, you should be able to watch it here.
Here is what I saw with my own eyes:
After the release, Caron Butler’s left arm drifts off to his left side, gravity pulls it towards his hip. Brandon Roy, attempting to block the shot, has the momentum of his left arm (and body) going to the right (Roy’s right) and in the opposite direction that Caron Butler is facing.
That’s the obvious foul which is called: Brandon Roy’s arm making contact and going through Caron Butler’s off hand. Easy to see. But does, as the announcer comments on the NBA.com clip, Caron Butler “grab” Brandon Roy. At face value, most would say yes….and at regular speed, it looks very questionable.
Before I proceed, let me remind everyone that Caron Butler is playing with an injury to his LEFT wrist; a chipped bone somewhere in there. It’s only natural for a player to protect his injury when playing.
Now go back and look at the clip. Brandon Roy’s arm comes dangerously close to making direct contact with Butler’s left wrist. One could argue that he does make contact with the left wrist, but I’m not sure….you’d have to ask Caron.
Knowing this, the actions of Caron Butler seem much more clear. He is trying to instinctively pull his wrist back to protect it when both players get inadvertently tangled. No part of the clip leads me to believe that Caron intentionally grabbed Brandon Roy. And I’m not sure how Mike Barrett expected Caron to “let up” as Butler tried to dive on the floor away from Roy, after Roy knocked him off-balance.
Would Brandon Roy have injured groin if he didn’t commit the foul by making initial contact with Butler?
Brandon Roy’s take: “It was just a freak play,” Roy said. “His body weight fell on me and pushed me pretty far down.”
“Mister” Harris and all the other false accusers out there owe Tuff Juice an apology. Please keep the names Caron Butler and Kobe Bryant together in the same sentence, out your mouth.