Celtics 22, Trail Blazers 16
Marcus Camby made his debut for Portland on Friday night against Boston. Nate Robinson's first game in a Celtics uniform is on hold thanks to the flu.
Camby was in the starting lineup for the Trail Blazers, three days after being acquired from the Los Angeles Clippers to fill the void left by season-ending injuries to Greg Oden and Joel Pryzbilla.
But the other debut expected to happen on Friday night was delayed after Robinson reported to Boston for his physical with a bad case of the flu. Celtics coach Doc Rivers said plans were in place for Robinson to join the team in Portland, but after Thursday night's win in Los Angeles over the Lakers, he was told that Robinson was in no shape to travel or play.
Now, Robinson likely won't suit up for the Celtics until they return home on Tuesday night against - guess who - the Knicks. New York traded Robinson and Marcus Landry earlier this week for Eddie House, J.R. Giddens, Bill Walker and a future conditional second-round pick.
``I guess that works out well for him. I don't know,'' Rivers joked.
Without Robinson, the Celtics were left short-handed in the backcourt. It was a concern for Rivers, who felt the Celtics offense became too slow and plodding on Thursday against the Lakers when starting point guard Rajon Rondo wore down. Rondo played 44 minutes in the 87-86 win.
``He literally is just not feeling up to it,'' Rivers said of Robinson, who was averaging 13.2 points and 3.7 assists for the Knicks. ``Yesterday before the game he was feeling pretty good and it probably was just adrenaline from the trade, he was excited and then he hit the wall.''
The Blazers acquired Camby from the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday for Steve Blake and Travis Outlaw and he immediately moved into Portland's starting lineup, pushing veteran Juwan Howard to the bench. Camby, who was in Portland with the Clippers when the trade went down, spent the last few days getting acclimated to his new teammates and the Portland offense.
Blazers coach Nate McMillan hasn't thrown too much at Camby yet, other than a few offensive sets. McMillan expected Camby's first game to be a learning process for everybody as he figures out what combinations work between Camby, Howard and forward LaMarcus Aldridge.
``His experience, his IQ will allow him to make that transition pretty smooth,'' McMillan said. ``We gave him a few sets that we wanted to run with him ... and it will take him a few games to get these things down, but he should be OK.''
All-Star Brandon Roy was back in the Blazers starting lineup as well after leaving Tuesday's win over the Clippers at halftime. It was Roy's first game since Jan. 20 after sitting out 12 games with an injured right hamstring. The hamstring started to flare up on Tuesday and McMillan said they will closely watch Roy's minutes going forward.
``We're going to watch his minutes and we'll be listening to him,'' McMillan said. ``He'll let us know how he's feeling.''