It may just be October, but the coming season is fast approaching for the National Basketball Association and its two-time defending champion Miami Heat, a team which saw new addition Greg Oden make his preseason debut on Wednesday. The top overall draft pick in 2007 by the Portland Trailblazers, injuries have derailed what once was a promising career for the Ohio State product.
The Miami Heat brought in Oden to bolster a frontcourt that already has the talents of Chris ‘Birdman’ Andersen. If he can prove that he is fully back from the injuries that put his NBA career in jeopardy, Oden is still young enough to develop into an above average center given that he is still just 25 years old.
Seeing Oden on the court in the preseason must have been a welcome sight for fans as well as members of the Miami Heat. It has been 1,418 days since he last played in an NBA game. For those of you who can’t count back that far, the date of his last action was December 5, 2009.
As you can see from the above video, it didn’t take long for Greg Oden to show the Miami Heat fans and the rest of the basketball world that he still has what it takes to be a force inside. That dunk happened on his first possession of the game.
Over his career with the Trailblazers, Greg Oden averaged 9.4 points per game to go along with 7.3 rebounds. Also not a bad blocker, his 1.4 blocks a game average is not too shabby either.
Still a work in progress, he was severely limited in terms of playing time. That could be because it is just preseason and the Heat don’t want to risk losing him before the games really matter, however he played just 1:20 in the game.
There is a long way to go before the playoffs and a run at what would be a third straight NBA Finals title, but Greg Oden has already shown signs of life inside. His services would greatly boost Miami’s chances at a repeat if he is able to find his form once again.
Senior Sports Editor
The Guardian Express