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Tag:Greg Oden
Posted on: March 14, 2011 11:44 pm
Edited on: March 14, 2011 11:44 pm
 

Greg Oden: I'm 'nowhere near' return to the court

Portland Trail Blazers injured center Greg Oden says he's "nowhere near" being able to return to the court. Posted by Ben Golliver. greg-oden-video-interview

In a video interview posted on Blazers.com that was conducted on Monday, Portland Trail Blazers center Greg Oden, who has been rehabilitating since undergoing microfracture knee surgery in November, was asked whether he has been able to resume work on the basketball court.  

"I'm nowhere near there," Oden admitted. "I mean I just started doing two-leg squats like two weeks ago. I've got like a month and a half of just doing that. Putting weight on one leg, that's all I can really do right now."

Oden's statement is the most recent and complete update on his progress since a Blazers scout said in January that Oden was still walking with a cane. The news comes roughly four months after he underwent microfracture surgery on his left knee on Nov. 19, 2010.

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, Oden didn't appear in a game for the Blazers during the 2010-2011 NBA season. His daily rehabilitation routine is keeping him busy, however. "I can do cardio here, on the bike, on the elliptical, stuff that's not a lot of weight bearing," Oden explained. "And then I lift. That's basically what my day consists of: rehab, cardio, lift, and pool at the end of the day."

Asked if the routine was growing tiresome, Oden said that it was. "It definitely is a bummer, but I know that's what I need to do to get back out there. So I go out there every day and I do it." 

In case you're interested, Oden listed Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard as the best big man in the NBA and said he's most looking forward to facing Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum, Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol, Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin and Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins.

Oden, who is set to become a restricted free agent this summer, said that his goal for the next two seasons is simple: "To be healthy." 
Category: NBA
Posted on: February 17, 2011 12:27 pm
Edited on: February 17, 2011 12:54 pm
 

Should the Blazers blow it up?

rich-cho-ball CBSSports.com's Ken Berger reports that the Portland Trail Blazers could be in for an active trade deadline. Posted by Ben Golliver. 

On Wednesday, CBSSports.com's Ken Berger noted a few factors that could make the Portland Trail Blazers an important player during the 2011 trade deadline season. First, the Blazers are just over the luxury tax line and presumably looking to get under it if possible. Second, the Blazers possess a number of expiring contracts that would serve as good bargaining chips. 
Execs are monitoring the intentions of Houston, Portland and Utah -- all tax-paying teams that will be deciding whether to go deeper into the tax or pull back from it.
One exec said he believes Portland GM Rich Cho is "poised for a pretty significant 24th." Given the grim prognosis for star guard Brandon Roy and the uncertainty about what cap space will be worth under the new labor rules, Cho is seriously considering cashing in on the expiring contract of Joel Przybilla and the essentially expiring deal of Andre Miller, whose 2011-12 salary is fully non-guaranteed. Marcus Camby, who has a year left at $12.9 million, could be enticing to one of the few deep-pocketed contenders not shy about taking on future money with CBA changes looming. The Mavericks, for example, will "listen to anything," according to a source.
Cho, Portland's first-year GM, doesn't have much of a track record to date, but he previously worked under Oklahoma City Thunder GM Sam Presti, who is known for his patience, discretion and how much he values salary cap flexibility. Cho appears to be cut from the same cloth. He's developed a reputation for his analytical approach to evaluating players and has made one significant move this season, dumping reserve guard Jerryd Bayless for a conditional first round draft pick in order to shed salary and increase his flexibility.

Here are the question that Cho has been grappling with all season: Are the Blazers, who have been bounced in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs each of the past two seasons, coming or going? And if they are going, is it time to blow things up and get younger?

I won't bore you with all the surgical details, but the Blazers have a number of factors clouding their ability to properly gauge their future lot. Two are much bigger than the others.

First, and most importantly, All-Star guard Brandon Roy has yet to return from dual knee surgeries and all indications are that he will be limited to some degree by his knees going forward. The Blazers are in the first year of a 5-year, $80+ million fully-guaranteed contract with Roy. He's as untradeable as a player can be.

Second, the Blazers must make a decision regarding chronically injured center Greg Oden this summer. Most likely, that decision will involve extending him a $8 million + qualifying offer which he will likely reject so that he can weigh multi-year offers. While his market value is unclear given that he is currently rehabilitating from his second microfracture knee surgery, the Blazers have indicated they are prepared to do what it takes to keep him. Between Oden and Roy, then, the Blazers have tied up a significant portion of their salary cap.

Making things even more complicated: the remaining Blazers have managed to climb all the way up to the middle of the pack in the Western Conference playoff picture and seem a solid bet to make the playoffs as is. Getting to the post-season matters to every NBA team, but it especially matters to the Blazers. Playoff gate revenue would surely be valued but, perhaps more importantly, this is a franchise that wants to take a place on the national stage whenever it can. Located in a small-market and geographically isolated from much of the basketball viewing public, the playoffs are a matter of pride and a chance for the team to shine when it so often feels overlooked. (Look no further than the LaMarcus Aldridge All-Star snub reaction to get a sense for this sentiment.) On top of that, Blazers owner Paul Allen is competitive and looking for a return on his investment of significant resources into this group of players.

Missing the playoffs, then, would be a blow to the pride, but also a blow to the credibility of the management staff. Despite all of the injuries, the resources and talent is still there, and that's without mentioning the team's solid head coach, Nate McMillan, who's making a case for Coach of the Year consideration. There are still expectations, even if the roof has caved in and eliminated the "contender" hopes for the time being. 

Any potential trade deadline move for Portland has to be assessed from the perspective of whether it will meaningfully impact Portland's ability to make the post-season. If a potential deal carries that risk, then it better have a sweetheart reward. If a deal can be engineered that helps the finances or the team's future without compromising this year's run, then that's got to be on the table.

Assessing Portland's roster through this lens divvies the players into some fairly clear groups. Players like Aldridge, Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum are obvious building blocks going forward. Roy and Oden are virtually impossible to move. The obvious candidates for a potential trade are point guard Andre Miller, along with centers Marcus Camby and Joel Przybilla. 

While there are financial arguments for moving any of them, Miller, Camby and Przybilla are of varied on-court importance.

Much has been made of Aldridge's breakout season - he's been floated as a Most Improved Player candidate and has twice won Western Conference Player of the Week honors - but none of that happens without his improved relationship with Miller, who hits him not only with lob after lob but also runs an effective late-game pick-and-roll as well. Miller probably trusted in Aldridge more than Aldridge did to start the season, and it's no coincidence that his voice was the loudest to complain when Aldridge was left off the All-Star team. The relationship that never developed between Miller and Roy - the relationship former Blazers GM Kevin Pritchard had hoped would make the Blazers a contender - now exists between Miller and Aldridge. 

Without question, Aldridge's now dependable production would be diminished this year if Miller is moved. The Blazers also have no other legit options capable of handling full-time point guard duties. Portland would be left, for the fourth time this season, to craft a new identity for themselves heading into the playoff stretch run. It wouldn't be impossible, but it wouldn't be particularly pleasant. It also wouldn't be all that intelligent, as the Blazers can cut and run out of Miller's contract if they find a better option this summer or he can be moved to a team next year as an expiring contract. Given his on-court value and future financial flexibility it makes far more sense to hold on to Miller than to move him, and I haven't even mentioned that his age and lack of playoff success render his external value questionable.

One of the most intriguing, under-reported wrinkles of Portland's season is that the Blazers are 10-4 since Camby underwent arthroscropic knee surgery. The Blazers have made due by using Aldridge as a center and playing more small-ball. It's certainly possible, perhaps not probable, that the Blazers could move Camby and still remain in the top eight, assuming Aldridge remains as healthy and productive as he has been since December.

The problem, of course, is the team's longer-term uncertainty at the center position. With Oden's future up in the air and Przybilla not at 100% since returning from two knee surgeries last season, Camby figures to be a fairly valuable component of a 2011-2012 Blazers team. Without him, the Blazers would be forced to either re-cast their new franchise player, Aldridge, as a center, draft a big man and be prepared to give him real minutes right off the bat, or find a random big off the scrap heap. None of those options would seem to be nearly as appetizing as making due with Camby for now and moving him during the draft or next season as an expiring contract should the center position crystallize a bit. While playoff teams looking for an extra big have expressed interest in Camby's services during a playoff run, the Blazers are interested in him for the same reason, and also because they don't have another reliable center penciled into the roster next season. He's a key locker room presence, too.

Przybilla, though, is a different story. His contract is expiring and he's not currently a critical component of the rotation, although he's filled in nicely during Camby's absence. When Camby returns, however, Przybilla reverts back to his status as a small-minute insurance piece and would likely be used sparingly in the playoffs with McMillan preferring to ride his starters. Longer-term, Przybilla's future in Portland is unclear as well, even though he's a local icon. He's simply not productive enough at this point to warrant a real financial commitment from the Blazers, given their other commitments discussed above. He is a living seven-foot tall human that can rebound so he will draw interest from around the league this summer, and he's also mentioned the possibility of retirement. Were the Blazers able to move Przybilla and receive limited contracts in return, utilizing a team's trade exception or open cap space, it's possible they could get under the luxury tax line without truly jeopardizing their rotation or playoff chances.  

Another player that was mentioned last summer but hasn't found his name in many rumors over the last month or two is guard Rudy Fernandez. Given Matthews' dependability and the potential return of Roy, Fernandez would become the most expendable member of the team's current rotation, although his ability to handle the ball helps his ability to get on the court should his minutes get squeezed. The formerly disgruntled Fernandez claims he is now happy in Portland and he's still on his rookie contract, so trading his $1.2 million salary alone wouldn't be enough to get the Blazers under the luxury tax line. Previously, Fernandez's asking price was said to be a late-first round pick. At this point, however, his internal value to the Blazers is likely higher than that given the questions surrounding Roy's availability. If you move Fernandez, a team that already struggles to score consistently and space the floor will be stretched even thinner. You would also be sacrificing a known, young, cheap rotation piece heading into a summer when you're likely to rebuild and get younger. 

Putting this all together, we shouldn't be surprised that things are busy for the Blazers in the run-up to the deadline. They've got loads of questions and an uncertain future, plus a bunch of potential trade chips and prospects on rookie deals. But the potential costs of a midseason overhaul seem to outweigh the benefits, and minimal activity at the deadline wouldn't preclude the team's ability to make the same moves this summer or during next season.
Posted on: February 3, 2011 2:36 am
Edited on: February 3, 2011 2:40 am
 

Andre Miller doesn't care if Blazers trade him

Portland Trail Blazers point guard Andre Miller says he doesn't really care if he's traded prior to the NBA trade deadline. Posted by Ben Golliver. andre-miller

The Portland Trail Blazers had their season self-combust due to injuries, and any hope of entering a championship window -- building around Brandon Roy, Greg Oden and LaMarcus Aldridge -- has disappeared entirely. As such, it's crossroads time for new Blazers GM Rich Cho: to rebuild or to stay the course?

Rebuilding is the likely play, but that would require going young and shedding some of the team's older players with big-dollar deals in the name of flexibility. One of those players could be veteran point guard Andre Miller, who had his name floated in trade rumors last year and earlier this season as well.

NBA Fanhouse reports that Miller is indifferent to the trade talk.
"I don't really care, really,'' Miller said when asked in a FanHouse interview Wednesday whether his hope now is to remain in Portland rather than be traded. "You know what I'm saying? I would like to stay put, but it's a business and anything can happen.''
When asked if he believes there's a decent chance he'll be moved by the Feb. 24 trade deadline, Miller said, "Yeah. Yeah.''
"There's a chance,'' Miller said. "A lot of guys can get moved. Where? I don't know. At this point, hopefully it's not a team that's rebuilding. I wouldn't want to go back to like a Philly situation.''
Miller is a straight-talking, matter-of-fact speaker, so his blunt honesty shouldn't catch anyone by surprise. While Miller is still productive and a key piece of the Blazers team this season -- averaging 13.1 points, 7.1 assists and 3.7 rebounds -- as the team's only starting-quality point guard, his theoretical usefulness for the Blazers has come and gone. 

When Miller was signed in the summer of 2009, it was with the idea that he would help provide veteran leadership to a young team that was looking to take the next step in the playoffs. With Roy and Oden out of the picture indefinitely, the Blazers are now looking to build around Aldridge, wing Nicolas Batum and guard Wesley Matthews, a much less formidable trio. While Miller was supposed to guide the ship, that ship has sailed off in a totally different direction, replaced by a much less imposing dinghy. 

Miller is on the books for $7.3 million this season and a team option $7.8 million for next season, so a team that traded for him could simply let him walk this summer without any future financial obligation. He therefore would have appeal both to contenders looking to increase their depth without compromising their long-term flexibility and to rebuilding teams that are simply looking to dump a longer-term contract.

It also shouldn't be a huge surprise that Miller isn't as emotionally tied to Portland as he might have been in the past. He came to Portland with the goal of advancing out of the first round of the playoffs, to put a stamp on a long, successful NBA career. He hasn't accomplished that goal and he has no real ties to the area. If a contender was interested, who would blame him for reciprocating that interest and chasing playoff success somewhere else? 

Miller, with his on-the-ground game and savvy play, has plenty of NBA miles left. But he's nearing the end of his run as a game-changing starter. Whether he is moved prior to the deadline, during draft season or next year as an expiring contract remains an open question. The problem for Portland, of course, is the same one they have dealt with for a decade: Who can they find that is better?
Posted on: February 2, 2011 11:27 am
Edited on: February 2, 2011 11:29 am
 

Game Changer: LMA drops 40

The Rockets keep bugging the Lakers, DMC gets into it with KG, and LaMarcus Aldridge has the game of his life, all in today's Game Changer. 
Posted by Matt Moore

THE BIG ONE: LMA TAKES OVER TO KEEP PORTLAND ALIVE

LaMarcus Aldridge has become a complete player this season, and has gone from good player to star. No further proof is needed beyond the performance Aldridge gave Tuesday night in the Blazers' 99-86 win over the Western-Conference-leading San Antonio Spurs. Aldridge dropped 40 on the Spurs, with a barrage of inside layups, dunks, and perimeter mid-range jumpers. See for yourself, in the shot chart from our GameTracker: 



7-13 on jumpers? That'll do, LMA. That'll do. Aldridge made a strong case for All-Star reserve in front of the coach for the Western team, not only with his shooting display to go along with 11 rebounds.  Aldridge has become the focal point of the Blazers, and he's the reason they're hanging onto the 8th spot in the West. That Aldridge has become the focal point after so often being passed over by Blazers management and fans is equally notable. First it was Brandon Roy, then Greg Oden, then Andre Miller, and most recently sophomore Wesley Matthews. But with Roy and Oden on the shelf, Miller marginalized by age, and Matthews still learning consistency, it's fallen upon Aldridge to shoulder the team. And he's risen to that challenge. 

Patty Mills at one point lobbed a dangerous, ill-advised pass into traffic for Aldridge. Mills knew it was a poor pass, but trusted in Aldridge to make a play. Aldridge nabbed the pass and nearly threw it down, drawing a foul. That's trust in your star, and the Blazers have it. That Aldridge has had to wait so long to reach this level must make it all the more worth it. Always the consolation prize, with the Blazers hopes for a title run with their young core vanished into a mist of lost opportunities, Aldridge is now the Blazers' best hope moving forward. He's a legitimate star to build around. 

For the Spurs, this game serves as a warning. The Spurs had no one to extend their perimeter defense against Aldridge with.  DeJuan Blair is not mobile enough and Duncan is unable to cover the distance and recover. As a result, Aldridge dropped the array of mid-range top-of-the-key shots you see above.  It's his sweet spot, just as Dirk's is the corner elbow, and David West's is the 16-foot baseline. All give the Spurs problems. Stretch fours are a problem for the Spurs, and they're going to be seeing a lot of them in the playoffs. Meanwhile, their offense sputtered and their defense wasn't able to hit the gear they're going to need in the playoffs.

Not the way they wanted to start the rodeo road trip. 


GO-GO-GADGET LINE OF THE NIGHT:

Aldridge, obviously.

Runners-Up:

Kobe Bryant: 32 points, 6 rebounds, 11 assists

Luis Scola: 24 points, 15 rebounds, 3 assists

AN UGLY COIN FLIP

The Celtics and Kings engaged in a pretty brutal standoff with the officials Tuesday night. The Celtics played their usual brand of brutal, physical, abrasive style, swiping, clubbing, shouldering, and creating so much contact the officials couldn't call everything. And when they did call something, the Celtics reacted with their usual outpouring of incredulity. What the Celtics weren't expecting was for the Kings to attempt the same approach. The Kings sped the pace up, which the Celtics hate, and then got aggressive down low, repeatedly blocking Kendrick Perkins, Kevin Garnett, and Glen Davis. That helped the Kings to a three-possession lead, which of course the Kings blew down the stretch when their entire offense came unglued as the Celtics buckled down. 

The most interesting part of the game was the interaction between DeMarcus Cousins and Kevin Garnett. Garnett did his usual "Look at me, I'm so crazy" act, hitting himself and mumbling obscenities. Cousins, for the most part, seemed off-put by Garnett's defense of him in the post, which involved a lot of slapping at the ball, missing, and hitting Cousins, then predictably getting the call because it's Kevin Garnett versus a rookie.  Cousins did mouth off to Garnett once, prompting Rajon Rondo to try and ease him back with his hand, which caused Cousins to slap the hand away, ending in Rondo shoving him and drawing a technical. It was a weird mirror image to Garnett's own behavior, if obviously less mature. 

Cousins was brilliant on offense, hitting everything from tap-backs and fadeaways to three-pointers.  But on defense, he too often lazed around getting back, didn't commit off-ball, and wound up in poor position. Imagine if the kid had a work ethic. 

LAKERS FINALLY FIGURE OUT THEY'RE TALL

The Lakers needed a win, and an injured, short-handed, small, poor defensively Rockets team was the perfect cure for what ails them.  Of course, for 48 minutes, the Lakers refused to take their medicine, and the Rockets used crack perimeter shooting and savvy ball movement to outwit the Lakers on their way to overtime. The Lakers would make a run by being tall and very good at basketball, the Rockets would call timeout, and then the Lakers would completely go away from everything that worked previously. Sure, the Lakers were missing Andrew Bynum. But the Rockets were missing Yao Ming, obviously, so it's not like they were full strength.

Meanwhile Pau Gasol drifted and drifted until overtime. Kobe Bryant dished seven assists before he scored 7 points in the first quarter, then started to take over offensively again.  Guess when the Rockets came back?  Meanwhile, he went back to distributing and finding Lamar Odom late, which allowed the Lakers to close the deficit and force overtime. In the extra period, it was simple physics.  The Lakers are tall and long, the Rockets are short.  The end. 

It wasn't a great win for the Lakers, but it's a win, and it's a start for their way back.
Posted on: January 29, 2011 5:01 pm
 

Portland's roster will likely be changing soon

Posted by Royce Young

The Trail Blazer roster is probably going to see a change before the Feb. 24 trade deadline. And I don't mean more people are going to get injuried. Well, fingers crossed on that.

But general manager Rich Cho told The Oregonian that the Blazers are definitely in the market to make a move.

"I'd say the chances are pretty good," Cho said of making a deal. "We are being pretty active, put it that way."

Well, that begs the question: What type of move? Something small to keep trying to win with the current core or something big like moving Andre Miller, Marcus Camby or maybe even Brandon Roy?

Give us more Rich, please.

"This team is an average to a little-above average team, and our record reflects that," Cho said. "And there's not going to be any quick fix to make it into a championship team. This is going to be a process ... But I think you have to think short term and long term. We are not going to sacrifice a long-term goal for a short-term benefit."

See, now that's interesting. Cho openly admits that the team is kind of mediocre in its current state. Which is certainly is. With all the injuries, the Blazers sit in eighth at 25-22. They aren't built to move up much higher in the standings right now. The team is average and they just aren't going anywhere right now.

But just like his former boss Sam Presti, Cho uses the word "process," which is a good word, especially for a team like Portland. There isn't an eay answer for them. Cho is in a tough spot. His franchise player has two bad knees, Greg Oden, well, you know, and plus anyone on the roster is at risk of hurting themselves at all times.

Yet the team is still in the playoff hunt. So Cho has decide if the current core plus an extra piece or two can make a push now or if he needs to start dealing things like Camby and Miller for young assets. Either decision won't be universally popular, but he's going to have to pick. The team can't stay as-is. Because like Cho said, it's not going anywhere that way.
Posted on: January 28, 2011 4:37 am
Edited on: January 28, 2011 12:59 pm
 

Nicolas Batum's MRI negative, day-to-day

Portland Trail Blazers forward Nicolas Batum suffered an injury to his left knee on Thursday night and will undergo an MRI. Posted by Ben Golliver.
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Update (12:58 PM Friday): The Blazers have announced that Batum's MRI came back negative. The team said that Batum "has a bone contusion and is listed as day to day." Another bullet dodged for the Blazers.
---------------------
Yes, you've heard this story from Portland before: a key member of the Trail Blazers is set to undergo an MRI on his knee after injuring it. This time around, it's starting small forward Nicolas Batum, who injured his left knee while defending Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce on Thursday night. Batum is set to undergo an MRI on Friday morning.

The injury occurred during second quarter action, as Batum back-pedaled while Pierce drove hard to the hoop. There was no apparent contact and Batum never left the ground. Nevertheless, he was in immediate pain after the play and the Blazers were forced to take a timeout to remove him from the game. He exited the court, limping, and headed straight for the locker room.

Here's a look at the video.


  After the game, Batum, who appeared to be in a bit of shock or disbelief, was adamant that the injury will not require surgery. "I'm OK, Batum said. "Not worried. No surgery. I'm sure I won't get surgery. I'm sure. I know my body. I've had a couple of surgeries before. I know when I need surgery. For my shoulder, I knew I was going to need surgery. When I broke my foot five years ago, I knew I would need surgery."

However, Batum was unable to flex his left leg much and he used crutches -- which he said were precautionary -- to leave the arena. Batum admitted that there was some swelling on his knee but said it was just "a little bit."

Asked to describe how the injury happened, Batum replied, "I tried to block Paul Pierce, I tried to jump, I couldn't jump, I don't know why and I felt something stretch in my knee."

Portland has undergone an unprecedented rash of knee injuries this season. Center Greg Oden, guard Elliot Williams and former big man Jeff Pendergraph, who was released, all underwent season-ending knee surgeries since the start of training camp. All-Star guard Brandon Roy is out indefinitely after undergoing dual arthroscopic knee surgeries and center Marcus Camby is out for a few weeks after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery earlier this month. 

The Blazers did dodge one bullet this week, as power forward LaMarcus Aldridge, by far the team's best remaining healthy player, got good news on an MRI and X-rays taken on his sore right hip, as they revealed only a contusion.

Batum, a third-year player from France, starts at small forward and is averaging 12 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 31 minutes per game so far this season. He mised much of last season after undergoing shoulder surgery.
Posted on: January 21, 2011 9:02 am
 

Shootaround 1.21.11: The next big thing

Gerald Wallace may be drafted into playing big, unfortunately, Kobe's got his hands all over the L.A. sidwalk, literally, and the Magic are interested in Troy Murphy, reportedly. All this and more in today's Shootaround. 
Posted by Matt Moore

Kobe Bryant will have his handprints put in cement outside that big Chinese theater in L.A. during All-Star weekend. We're pretty sure he's going to try and put his hands into cement harder than any of those other stars. He'll work harder at putting his hands into cement than anyone.

Is Blake Griffin your favorite new show?

The Magic are interested in Troy Murphy who is debatably on the block, should he become available in a buyout. San Antonio and Dallas are also interested, reportedly.  It makes a lot of sense for the Magic, right? Power forward who can rebound and knock down mid-range shots fits in pretty well there, with their desperate need for depth down low.  I mean, yes, Brandon Bass will probably break his hotel lamp, but he probably does that when the room service eggs aren't salted, either. 

Greg Oden talks. We're pretty sure the subject of injury comes up at some point. 

Joe Lacob isn't exactly sure what Keith Smart is doing with his rotations sometimes. Joe Lacob is just like you and me!

Kobe Bryant reflects on everything free agency.

Chuck Hayes is back, and all that stands between the Rockets and big man annihilation.

The worst statistical lineup for the Knicks? The one that starts. 

Russell Westbrook knows the names of a bunch of Oklahoma towns. The great people of Poteau, OK are heartbroken to be left out. 

With Tyrus Thomas out, the Bobcats will probably turn to Gerald Wallace at the four again, as he used to. Which is going to make him a very unhappy camper. Wallace played that position for years despite his insistence that he's a three, and the results were pretty clear. As in, he wound up having multiple injuries including a concussion trying to play bigger. This could get ugly.
Posted on: January 20, 2011 2:18 pm
Edited on: January 20, 2011 2:22 pm
 

Blazers' Camby out 3 weeks after knee surgery

Portland Trail Blazers center Marcus Camby is expected to miss "approximately three weeks" after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery. Posted bymarcus-cambyBen Golliver.

The Portland Trail Blazers announced that center Marcus Camby, who suffered a knee injury on Monday during a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, underwent successful arthroscopic knee surgery on Thursday. Camby is expected to miss "approximately three weeks."
Portland Trail Blazers center Marcus Camby underwent successful arthroscopic surgery to repair a partial medial meniscus tear in his left knee this morning, it was announced by General Manager Rich Cho.
Dr. Don Roberts performed the surgery in Vancouver, Wash., and Camby is expected to miss approximately three weeks.
"We're pleased with the outcome of today's surgery, and look forward to seeing Marcus back on the court soon," said Cho. "In the meantime, we have confidence in our frontcourt players to step into the void left by Marcus and help us continue to win games."
As far as injury news goes for the Blazers, this is about as good as it gets. Already this season, guard Elliot Williams, forward Jeff Pendergraph and center Greg Oden have been lost to season-ending knee injuries, and guard Brandon Roy is also out "indefinitely" after undergoing dual knee surgeries earlier this week.

In Camby's absence, the Blazers will use centers Joel Przybilla and Sean Marks, and will also play some small ball with power forward Dante Cunningham. Cunningham got the start for Portland last night against the Sacramento Kings, but Przybilla played a season-high 29 minutes and grabbed 11 boards. It's unclear whether Przybilla can sustain that type of playing time, though, as he is still working his way back to 100% after dual knee surgeries last year.

Without Camby, the team's leading veteran voice, emotional leader and key defensive centerpiece, the Blazers will simply look to tread water and keep their heads afloat. The team plays just nine games over the three weeks, so the hit could have been a lot worse.

Some more good news: Camby's return is expected to come before both the All-Star break and the trade deadline. While his name has come up in scattered rumors, it's unlikely that Portland moves him this season, as they need his production if they hope to make a playoff push. However, Camby's presence on the court might make it easier for Portland GM Rich Cho to part with other trade pieces -- perhaps including Przybilla's expiring contract -- prior to the deadline.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com