Portland Trail Blazers starting center Marcus Camby is expected to return to the lineup on Friday night against the Toronto Raptors after missing three games with a sprained ankle. A few bits of Camby-related writing out there today.
An interview with Tracy Weissenberg of SlamOnline.com.
There's not too many traditional big men as you had back in the day. I think the last big we had was probably like a guy like Shaq and the only two remaining I see right now is like Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum. I think right now the game is taking on more of a European flair where the big guys are more talented, they can shoot the ball a whole lot more. And the big power forwards are guys like here (in Atlanta), like Josh Smith-guys that are tall, but also can spread the floor and very active and very creative with the basketball.
A lot of guys are definitely creative nowadays and guys just pretty much care about winning. I don't pride myself on being a big stat guy, I pride myself on being a big win guy. Guys like myself, there's a lot of us in this league-guys who can pass, shoot, distribute the basketball and do all the little things that go unnoticed on the scoresheet.
Matt Calkins of The Columbian writes that while Camby might not be a big stats guy he does put them up.
True, the former Defensive Player of the Year may not log as much time as he did in his Denver or New York days, but he still pulls down .356 rebounds per minute. That's better than Blake Griffin, the fourth-leading rebounder in the league. His .394 boards per minute last year, meanwhile, were better than everyone but Kevin Love.
But it's not just the rebounding the Blazers so badly miss, it's the rejecting, too. Camby's block per-minute rate as high as it was for several years in his prime, and he'd probably have three times as many swats if opponents weren't floating it 20 feet high to avoid his redwood arms.
But the simple truth is this: When Marcus Camby is off the court, the Blazers are off the mark.
John Canzano of The Oregonian crunched some numbers on Camby's durability.
Camby's had 1,212 possible opportunities in be in the lineup for his team in his career, and he's been healthy enough to play in 74% of his team's games (901)... Given that he's already played in 11 so far this season, if the percentage of his career holds up, it feels like Camby's likely to make 35-38 of the final 52 Blazers games.
Decide for yourself if that's enough for Portland to bank on him and keep him around. Or if they should make a contingency plan... or try to trade his expiring contract at the March 15 deadline for another big man.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter