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Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Et tu, Marcus?

By Henry Abbott

The Blazers started the season with two centers, Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla. Usually two centers is enough for an NBA team.

Usually they don't both suffer devastating, likely season-ending, knee injuries.

Portland played without a center from December 22, when Przybilla went down, until last week, when they acquired Marcus Camby in a trade with the Clippers.

Tuesday night in New Jersey, about 70 minutes of playing time into Camby's Blazer career, the new Blazer center collapsed to the floor, much like Oden and Przybilla had. The referees called Blazer trainer Jay Jensen over.

Brandon Roy's facial muscles tightened, and he gripped his own chest as he wandered over to have a closer look.

Camby stayed on the floor, in pain, as replays showed the play. There was no obvious impact, but there hadn't been for Oden, either. Camby was on the move, and then collapsing to the floor awkwardly. Was it a knee, perhaps? An ankle?

Eventually, Camby rose, to a smattering of sympathetic applause. He walked under his own steam, but barely -- with a pronounced limp -- straight to the locker room.

Juwan Howard -- the Blazer forward who had been masquerading as a center for the last two months -- was summoned from the Blazer bench.

Everyone knows there is no such thing as curses.

Right?

As it happens, the report from the locker room came back tame: A sprained right ankle. X-rays were negative. There was a chance Camby would even return to the game.