Notes: Feb. 18 Blazers practice (with video)

Notes following the Portland Trail Blazers’ practice Thursday morning at the team’s workout facility.

TUALATIN, Ore. — Newly acquired center Marcus Camby made such a positive first impression that Blazers coach Nate McMillan was laughing and smiling. There was also a sense of optimism and an overall looseness that had been missing during recent practices.

“He knows how to play the game and he picks up things real quick,” McMillan said.

McMillan said it was good to again have a defensive presence at the center position. And he beamed when referencing a block Camby made of a shot attempt by rookie guard Patty Mills.

“That was not a foul,” McMillan said.

Camby will start for the Blazers on Friday against Boston, McMillan said. The 14-year veteran’s knowledge of Portland’s offensive sets and plays should ease the transition.

In addition, Camby was vocal during practice, motivating players and calling out reads.

“He’ll be at the high post mainly, and just making reads,” McMillan said. “And I think that’s what NBA basketball is all about. Everybody’s running pretty much the same stuff.”

Camby was upbeat following practice, and engaged in long media session afterward.

He praised the Blazers’ organization, while stating that Portland has a good mix of talented, young players and impressive veterans.

“Hopefully this trade can work out for myself and, more importantly, the team,” Camby said.

Roy watch
Blazers guard Brandon Roy said he expects to start against the Celtics; McMillan said the decision is Roy’s to make. Roy said his strained right hamstring was about the same.

“I feel like it’s something that’s there,” Roy said. “But as long as I can play with it and it doesn’t pull, then I should be fine.”

On Camby: “He’s just a natural. He fits in perfectly with what we’re trying to do.”



Check Friday’s Columbian for a column about Camby and the reenergized Blazers.

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