Trail Blazers-Raptors Preview
Until this past weekend, Chris Bosh's health had not been a concern for the Toronto Raptors. The Portland Trail Blazers, meanwhile, had to suspect newly acquired Marcus Camby would eventually miss some time.
Bosh is expected to be a game-time decision as the Raptors try to continue their success at home Wednesday night in a matchup with a Blazers team that may be without the oft-injured Camby.
After appearing in the first 53 games this season, Bosh has missed two straight with a sore ankle, but Toronto (31-24) has won both of those contests. The All-Star forward, averaging 24.5 points and 11.4 rebounds, may be close to returning.
Without Bosh, it would appear the Raptors are missing an intimidating post presence. Andrea Bargnani, though, had four blocks in Toronto's 109-104 win over Washington on Saturday.
The 7-footer, who moved from center to forward due to Bosh's absence, is averaging 2.5 blocks - one more than his season average - over his last six games.
"Most people look to Chris as being our interior defensive guy," guard Jarrett Jack said. "I thought Andrea, the last two ballgames, has done a great job of being that physical presence we need down low."
Jack had 23 points and eight assists as Toronto won for the 15th time in its last 17 at Air Canada Centre. The Raptors are fifth in the Eastern Conference, four games behind Atlanta.
"We know how desperately we need these wins coming down the stretch, making this final push at the end of the season, especially the ones at home," Jack said. "They're very crucial, they're very vital to how things are going to play out in the standings. We can't let these opportunities slip through our fingers."
Portland (33-26), trying to hold on to eighth in the West, received a scare Tuesday when Camby sprained his right ankle in the first quarter of a 102-93 win over New Jersey. The injury isn't considered serious, but his status for this game is uncertain.
Camby averaged 12.5 rebounds and 3.5 blocks in his first two games after being acquired from the Los Angeles Clippers on Feb. 16 for Steve Blake, Travis Outlaw and cash. Portland has already lost centers Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla to season-ending knee injuries.
"Hey, Camby, welcome to Portland," coach Nate McMillan said, referring to the Trail Blazers' injury problems this season. "It's amazing what our guys are going through. I think he's going to be OK."
Camby has been plagued by injuries since being drafted second overall by Toronto in 1996. He missed a total of 38 games in two seasons with the Raptors, and has played 63 games or fewer nine times in 13 seasons overall.
If Camby misses any time, Juwan Howard will likely start at center. Howard had nine points off the bench versus the Nets to help the Blazers bounce back after losing four of their previous six.
Roy has had 30 points or more in two of his last three games against Toronto. Portland swept last season's two-game series.