The closer we get to the season beginning; I’m naturally reading more and more previews and predictions. Now as I read I’ve begun to notice a theme that most of the national media adopt when talking about Greg Oden. Most of what I read states the Oden probably won’t become a 20-10 player. Now invariably they explain their reasons. I for the most part disagree so I’m writing this post to get my feelings out and to read your responses.
Reasons Oden won’t become a 20-10 guy:
1. He wasn’t a big time scorer in College.
This is true, but I think it ignores the new order of things. In the past players went to college for 2-4 years before leaving for the draft. Now you have one and dones, who spend a year in college, then declare for the draft. Why is this important, you ask? Because if you look at the modern Centers (those who were active during the 90’s, the ones Oden will most be compared to) most of them had four years of college and came into the league averaging 20-10. If you look at the two star centers I feel Oden most compares to David Robinson and Patrick Ewing, their freshman years are comparable. (The exception being Ewing whose soph. year compares the best) Actually Ewing averaged 15 and 9 for his collegiate career. Robinson came in to the NBA at 24 and Ewing at 23. Oden is 20 right now!! With all his physical skills in a couple of years Oden could and should be averaging 20 and 10. Just like with High school players you need to allow time that would have been college years. (i.e. Dwight Howard…)
2. With the microfracture surgery he has lost some of his athletic ability.
I find this hard to swallow. First I think that the media is focusing mostly on the negative microfracture surgeries. Yes it’s true that the negative outweighs the positive stories, but the age of Oden (19) and the advances in the procedure its self, added to the year of forced rehab, makes me believe he’ll be fine. I think that any roughness you see in his game has more to do with the year break, new weight and just remembering how to play.
3. He’s emotionally fragile, and doesn’t have that killer instinct.
Really? I mean do I need to write a rebuttal to this? Yes he’s not the second coming of Shaq, and yes he is a nice guy a, “benign giant.” But come on he’s a player who wants to win, he has won on every level. Look at his performance in the NCAA Championship game; read his quotes about watching the team for a year, he will compete. And how would you feel if you just spent a year sitting/rehabbing watching a team after every loss make a comment about how if you were there this or that weakness would have been addressed… not very great huh. You’d feel like you had something to prove huh?,,, This will fade once he gets into the flow of the season.
Greg Oden is a special player with the ability to be a great center, he’s also a wonderful person, and is anyone else excited about the fact that he’s just 20? I mean in five years he’ll only be twenty-five!!!!!
Anyway those are my thoughts on the matter.<!--EndFragment-->