As The Baseline pointed out, Portland Trail Blazers center Greg Oden had a great night against the Chicago Bulls, scoring 24 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. His team even got a sizable 122-98 win over the Baby Bulls. However, Oden’s night is being canonized because of two failed dunk prevention attempts. In the lead video, Derrick Rose absolutely blasts Oden with a nifty little baseline jam that the Portland big man just missed blocking. And then there’s the play where Oden tried to get in the way of Joakim Noah, and failed.
Nevertheless, it was Oden who had the last laugh as the Blazers dominated the Bulls for a 24-point win. It’s pretty safe to say both Rose and Noah would trade their highlight-worthy dunks for an impressive road win. Alas, it was not to be. Good thing they’ll always have their Dunking over Oden posters to look back on.
And if Noah really wanted a last word, he could always grab his second National Championship ring. You know, the one he won at Florida when his Gators beat Greg Oden and the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Today is obviously NBA day around IF–blame the fact nothing else was on last night, save Pittsburgh’s bounce-back against Syracuse–and with that, let’s get into Greg Oden’s big night last night. Against the Milwaukee Bucks, Oden had a career best 24 points, 15 rebounds, 2 blocked shots and 2 steals. Obviously, this the type of performance that made Portland fans drool when they won the NBA Draft lottery last year.
Yes, I know this pic is from his OSU days. Wanna make something of it?
A little bit was made about Greg Oden missing two dunks in Madison Square Garden the other night (H/t to TBL). To his credit, the author didn’t try to extrapolate that into “Oden’s a bust” commentary. In fact, he went the opposite direction, saying Oden’s future looks downright slam dunk-ish.
Because, however, something was made of Oden’s missed slams, I’m happy to report there was no carryover against the Wiz from Washington. On his way to another double-double (13 and 10), Oden was 3-3 on dunk attempts, two of which are in the highlight video below (21 seconds and the 1:06 mark if you’re curious):
Has there ever been an NBA rookie with this much anticipation — one not named LeBron James? Ever since he left Ohio State, just about every move Greg Oden has made in relation to basketball has been documented. Of course, these matters are helped by Oden’s injury history. After losing last year because of microfracture surgery on his knee, the wheels of anticipation began again as the new season approached.
Finally, his long-awaited debut came against the Lakers and unfortunately for the Oden watchers, it ended almost as soon as it began. After hitting the reset button once again, Portland re-redebuted Oden last night against the Miami Heat and considering he didn’t get hurt, the re-restart has to be considered a success. Granted his stat line was pedestrian — three points, two rebounds and two blocks — but the fact he made it through sixteen minutes without damaging the goods is progress we can believe in.
OK, Portland fans. You can come in off the ledge now because Greg Oden’s injury isn’t as bad as many feared. The MRI results revealed a mid-lateral right foot sprain, which is expected to sideline the rookie center for two to four weeks. While this news will doubtfully silence the “Oden = Walton” talk — he’ll have to play without injury for that to happen — it certainly has to be considered good.
At least it wasn’t a stress fracture, the same thing that helped shorten Sam Bowie’s — remember him? — career.
One of the most anticipated NBA rookie debuts in some time was again cut short last night when Portland center Greg Oden rolled his ankle just 2-plus minutes into his first official NBA game, a loss the Lakers. Oden finished the game with zero points, five rebounds and one resounding blocked shot of Andrew Bynum, which we have for you:
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:
As we get closer and closer to the start of the NBA’s regular season — next Tuesday — rookie performances that stand out tend to get noticed more, much like Derrick Rose did yesterday. You can add Greg Oden to that list of rookies perform well after he collected his first (preseason) double-double of his career, finishing with 13 points and 12 rebounds.
At least two of his buckets came from powerful dunks, which we have below: