Oden trying, but not back for playoffs

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In what could be the understatement of the year, Portland General Manager Kevin Pritchard said he wants to be “cautious” with the return of Greg Oden to the team.

Oden wants to be back for the playoffs — and Pritchard wants him to keep busting it in the weight room — so nobody is telling him no directly. But…

It’s a long shot at best. We’ve always been cautious with our guys. We’ll continue with that, especially with Greg. He’s pushing hard, as hard as I’ve ever seen him working. He sees a little carrot there, and I’m not going to tell him he can’t. But we’ll be very cautious.

So, basically you’re telling him he can’t? Right?

Clearly the Rose Garden is built over and Native American burial ground, one for a very tall tribe. How else do you explain every big man for the Blazers going down this year? Marcus Camby was able to stay relatively healthy with the Clippers then sprains his ankle with Portland. Something is going on here.

Who knows what, if anything, Portland will ever really get out of Greg Oden. But with so much invested they have to try, and they don’t need it to be this year (this team was built for down the line, not 2010). And for now that means being cautious, even though it takes Oden’s carrot away.

Dwight Howard played through torn MCL and meniscus in playoffs

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Dwight Howard hasn’t exactly been healthy in recent years. He missed half of last season with various injuries, including a two-month stretch from January to March after undergoing a knee procedure. On Thursday, he told a Houston radio station that the knee problems continued after that, and he had torn ligaments and cartilage during the Rockets’ Western Conference Finals series against the Warriors:

It’s a little alarming that we didn’t hear about this until now. Sometimes these injuries can heal without surgery, but Howard can become a free agent next summer, so you would think he would want to get any lingering issues addressed ahead of time. Considering his age (he’ll be 30 in December) and his injury history, this isn’t a great sign. A healthy Howard is the difference between the Rockets being a legitimate title contender and an als0-ran, so hopefully these problems are behind him and he can stay healthy this season.

Report: Trevor Booker suspended one game for Hibbert altercation

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On Tuesday night, Jazz big man Trevor Booker was ejected from a preseason game against the Lakers for taking a swing at Roy Hibbert during a scrap.

Now, Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Booker will be suspended one game for the hit, meaning he’ll miss the Jazz’ October 28 season opener against the Pistons:

Considering he was already ejected, a one-game suspension seems about right.