The doors to the American Airlines Center's visiting locker room opened late Tuesday, and Portland Trail Blazers forward Gerald Wallace soon found himself crowded by reporters. After team officials said LaMarcus Aldridge would answer questions in the arena's news conference room, the media herd then moved from Wallace to Andre Miller. No one approached Brandon Roy, the Blazers' three-time All-Star guard and co-captain, who dressed quietly before slowly walking out of the locker room without a single question posed to him.

A little more than a year ago Roy was the face of the Blazers, the man Portland hoped would someday carry the franchise back to the NBA Finals. Never, however, has Roy looked so small in stature than Tuesday night, when he played just eight minutes and went scoreless in the Blazers' 101-89 loss to the Dallas Mavericks. With the Blazers trailing the Mavericks 2-0 in the first-round series, Roy has been reduced to a bit player – a fact he's struggling to accept.

"I always try to find positives out of situations, but this is a tough one to find something," Roy said in the hallway outside the Blazers' locker room.

Roy's frustration wasn't hard to see. His eyes looked watery. The transformation from star to role player – brought on by career-threatening knee injuries – has been an emotional one.

Named the NBA's Rookie of the Year just five seasons ago, Roy quickly developed into one of the league's leading guards. He made his first All-Star appearance in his second season and two more soon followed. His quick first step and explosive leaping ability made him one of the toughest players to defend.

Roy's best days also seemed to be ahead of him. With Aldridge lining up with Roy and Greg Oden expected to do the same once he became healthy, the Blazers had the core for what looked like a future contender in the Western Conference.

That changed after Roy had arthroscopic surgery late last season to repair a cartilage tear in his right knee. He returned just eight days later to play in the Blazers' first-round series with the Phoenix Suns, but hardly looked healed. After continuing to struggle early this season, he had surgery on both his knees in January. When Roy returned about a month later, Aldridge had cemented himself as the Blazers' top scoring option while Roy tried to work his way back as a reserve.