NBA Scouts Are Confusing (Greg Oden)
This place has become Greg Oden central since the preseason started, not that we’re trying to ride Oden, it’s just he’s going to be one of the bigger stories when the NBA officially gets underway (next Tuesday). Because he’s going to be such a popular topic, various scouts have been weighing in anonymously, letting everybody know what to expect.
Is he going to be a star or will he struggle? Is the hype legitimate or should it be going to someone like Michael Beasley? Thanks to ESPN’s TrueHoop blog, we know what one scout thinks, although I’m not sure if you can consider his points an actual critique:
It’s hard to go crazy over Greg Oden coming off his knee surgery before he’s played a real NBA game. He’s going to be a very good player, no doubt. But a superstar? I’m just not ready to go that far yet. He has great size and hands, he’s good around the basket, he can finish, he’s decent at the line and he’s a good paint rebounder, though he’s not really good moving around to get extended rebounds. But I don’t know how smart he is on the court, and I can see him getting into foul trouble.
So, he can catch the ball when it’s thrown to him — a great sign for a big man — he can finish around the rim — another great sign considering he’s a post player — he’s a good rebounder — see the post player point again — and he can shoot free throws, which is a huge attribute for a big man to have.
Just ask Shaq.
The only knocks said scout can make is he isn’t sure how smart Oden is and he thinks he might get into foul trouble.
I’m kind of baffled here. Based on that, we are supposed to temper expectations, ignore all of the beneficial attributes listed and pay attention to two unknowns when projecting Oden’s impact? That doesn’t make much sense. Show me a coach who doubts a big man who can catch, finish, rebound and shoot freebies because he isn’t sure about the kid’s acumen for a league he hasn’t played a game in yet.
Does one even exist?
What’s even more surprising is the same scout didn’t even mention Oden’s layoff, nor his apparent lack of mobility due to the leg issues he’s still recovering from. If you watch the video from the other day, when Oden comes off the pick and roll, he moves to basket correctly but it’s just not as quickly as he looked in college. It’s reasonable to think once he gets his NBA legs underneath him, he’ll be able to move around the court with a lot less effort.
All-in-all, that’s one of the strangest critiques I’ve read. If that’s what you are using to temper your expectations of Oden, what are you going to think once he gets used to NBA grind?