Editor’s note: First paragraph written before Camby’s return on Sunday against the Atlanta Hawks, but after the impressive comeback win against the Denver Nuggets.
When I was going to write this post last week it was going to focus on whether or not the Blazers should tamper with the current chemistry that they have built by trading away pivotal players. Andre Miller and Marcus Camby (though he is not playing, his veteran presence in the locker room is invaluable) were the main names thrown out as potential chips to be used to upgrade (or downgrade the team) at the February 24th trade deadline. The main question as going to be: can they live through those two being gone? Could the chemistry live? Would the good vibes, as the Blazers had built a 7-2 record going into the All-Star Weekend and the deadline (now a strong 8-3 after last night’s victory), survive a jostling of significant magnitude? I wrestled with that question for quite awhile, something I know Rich Cho has worked tirelessly to answer this season. Juggling the loss of Greg Oden again, the uncertainty of Brandon Roy’s return, the emergence of LaMarcus Aldridge (attributed to Andre Miller’s point guard prowess) and the burgeoning confidence being shown by Wesley Matthews, Rudy Fernandez and Nicolas Batum (intermittently, of course) and then deciding to make a trade? Restless nights were many, and had often I can assume. I know that I for sure would have fell asleep in the training facility office after a long night of throwing proposals at the wall to see which stuck.