Oden was amazingly effective when he was on the court last year. Oden had the 2nd highest PER of any second-year player in the last ten years, behind only LeBron. The rest of the top ten in order: DWade, CP3, Yao, Steve Francis, Kirilenko, Shawn Marion, Boozer, and Durant.
The list essentially breaks down into 3 tiers:
Oden and DWade 23.1
CP3 22.0 to Durant 20.8
Greg is now entering his third year. Let’s look at what the other nine players on this list did in their third years.
LeBron: 1st team all-NBA, PER +2.4
DWade: 2nd team all-NBA, PER +4.5
CP3: 1st team all-NBA, PER +6.3
Yao: 3rd team all-NBA, PER +1.3
Francis: all-star, PER -2.5 (missed 25 games)
Kirilenko: all-NBA 2nd team defensive, PER +1.5
Marion: no honors. PER -1.2
Boozer: no honors, PER -1.6 (missed 31 games)
Durant: all-NBA 1st team. PER +5.4
Six of these players made an all-NBA team, one more made the all-star game, and only two didn’t make the all-star game. So when Greg says he’s preparing to make the all-star game, it is a reasonable goal.
Incidentally, all five of the Blazers starters appear high on the list:
Oden 2, 1st among centers
Miller 16, 3rd among PGs (CP3, Francis)
Roy 20, 3rd among 2-guards (dWade, Redd)
Aldridge 30, 10th among PF
Batum 40, 5th among SF (LeBron, Kirilenko, Marion, Gay)