this could be completely out of left field, but i think it has some degree of validity.
much of what greg oden's strengths are revolve around his defense. thats what every person talks about him for, and everyone always says "just play defense and rebound." while i expect to see a much improved greg oden on the offensive end, i think people are selling him short on his offensive potential. so after workin this summer to get in shape and add some fluidity to his game, he also added in some post moves and a short jumper (so they say, and so i believe 100 percent). but up until this point i feel like people just wanted him to fit in on offense. just doing what a big man does by dunking and getting offensive rebounds, then accompanying that with a decent post game. not anything to write home about..but around maybe 12 to 16 ppg. people say thats all we need from him. i think this is hindering his development into what i think can be the best offensive center in basketball. instead of saying "oh, just be adequate on offense and dominant on D" say "get out there and dominate on BOTH ends."
now i think the advantages of this in the long run are clear. aldridge right now is our 2nd option on offense, oden being 4th or hopefully third now this year after the productive summer. but i think he should work hard enough on his offense next summer and however many summers after that to the point where he is either equivalent to roy in priority (kind of like shaq and kobe) or becomes the teams second option. just seeing how physically intimidating he is combined with some of the rim rattling dunks he has, i think he can emulate Shaq in some areas on that end of the floor. im not saying he'll be as great as shaq was, but similar. the variables in this equation are Oden's development of legit moves and the organizations possible plans to consolidate talent (trading some young/talented players for a legit star). if he coupled those with last season's apparent mentality of "dunk everything," he could exceed predraft expectations if thats possible.
i can easily envision a year or 2 after this one Oden's scoring total increase to around 20 points per game (maybe more) on a ridiculously high field goal percentage of around 58 and a free throw percentage of around 73. what im getting at here is the difference between a team that is perennial contender to a team that could be a potential dynasty. because, unfortunately, i think the lakers and celtics (even tho they are up there in age, i still think they have 2 to 4 good years left) are built that way in terms of talent and team philosophy. so since the lakers are in the west, we should consistently become their WCF opponent in the very near future. and since kobe/pau/bynum/artest/odom are locked up for the next couple of years it couild become the new rivalry.
but it wont become a happy one unless greg realizes his full potential. that is, getting past his injuries and foul troubles (linked to his being out of shape) and trending up in terms of rate of development. the reason im stressing this is because i think the only way to become the class of the league is for Greg to become that kind of player on both ends of the floor. if he becomes solid on the offensive end, i could see them winning MAYBE (possibly none) 1 or 2 titles depending upon how the rest of the team does. but if he becomes very good or great on that end, i could see them winning 4 or 5 even if the other youngins dont develop as much as they can.
so what im hoping for is for people to challenge him to become that player. after getting his mental state more in line, i feel like he is fully capable of handling such expectations. the man has a very increased awareness, which led to his semi antisocial tendencies last year after not living up to expectations (very unfair expectations after the injuries and his age in basketball years). this was both good and bad. being aware of expectations allows you put the work in to live up to them but is coupled with the pressure to do so. this is where greg has progressed significantly by knowing how to deal with the expectations by improving and still having fun.
so dont put him in a box. if what im hoping for does happen, it would be the most challenging path to stardom in a long time in my mind. all im sayin is that im fully confident in gregs abilities and am hoping that even if he has a successful year, complacency does not set in in either him or those around him.