Blazers react to Oden, ready for Nuggets
Marcus Camby is sad, but he’s not in a state of mourning. His Blazers teammates are somber, but they’re not home writing eulogies.
Greg Oden has morphed into a tragic figure in his four injury-ravaged seasons in the NBA, but Portland isn’t playing the victim. If it does, its next opponent will make it one.
“We’re focused on Denver, they’re not going to feel sorry for us,” Camby said at shootaround Thursday. “They’re going to come in here and try to take our heads off.”
The Blazers need Camby focused because he may be the player most affected by the latest season-ending knee surgery Oden will undergo Friday. The 36-year-old has shouldered the bulk of the load at center while awaiting Oden and Joel Przybilla’s return to the lineup, playing through migraines and a bevy of dings and tweaks. Asked how Oden’s year-long absence will impact him — if it may compel him to play under conditions in which he’d otherwise seek rest — Camby was simply resolute in his desire to take the floor.
“I just love to play. I rolled my ankle in Memphis and got right back out there. We have to get wins,” Camby said. “We’re definitely sad for Greg, but we’ve been doing all this without him. It’s not like he was out there on the floor.”
REMEMBER, UM, WHAT’S HIS NAME…BRANDON ROY?
Never have MRI results of a team’s best player received such little coverage as they did Wednesday, when Brandon Roy’s knee problems played third understudy to those of Oden’s. Roy, who limped off the court against New Orleans Saturday and sat out against Memphis Tuesday, will not play vs. the Nuggets tonight or Utah Saturday, but hopes to return a week from Friday when the Hornets come to Portland.
Roy was diagnosed with an left arthritic knee last week amid a season in which he’s clearly lost a step athletically. MRI results did not reveal a need for surgery, but Roy acknowledges he must make some alterations.
“I can adjust,” said Roy, adding that other players have endured similar circumstances while still having productive careers. “It’s something a number of doctors have told me I can play with and still play at a high level.”
Roy also said that he saw Oden Wednesday and is more worried about his mental state than physical. Asked how he thought Oden was coping, Roy said this: “You can see it all over his face.”
Matt Calkins can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org