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Greg Oden confident he'll be good to go for camp

Aug 2, 2010, 11:45 AM EDT

We’re three full seasons into Greg Oden’s NBA career, and he’s played just 82 games. It’s not fair. Not to the Blazers, who invested the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 draft in Oden, not to the Blazer faithful, and certainly not to Oden himself. Every nightmare must come to an end, but Oden’s is certainly taking its sweet time to run its course.

However, as is the case with much of the off-season, there is reason to hope. From Brian T. Smith of The Columbian:

Oden said he is “positive” he will be ready for training camp for the
2010-11 season. The Blazers center has recently been working out with
Portland strength and conditioning coach Bobby Medina in Indiana. Oden
said he has lost considerable weight while going through daily
five-hour drills. He plans to lose more weight, but would not reveal
his ideal total.

Oden’s presence means a world of difference for Portland, both in terms of their on-court performance and their off-court focus. He’s already an excellent rebounder and a quality defender, but when injured, his impact on the team goes far beyond his basketball abilities. When Oden goes down (and more importantly, when Oden goes out), there is a certain mental toll taken on the team and the franchise as a whole.

Here’s to a season where that isn’t the case. Here’s to the possibility of Oden finally showing the world just how good he is when he can stay on the floor (while avoiding both fouls and excessive injuries). Here’s to the first fully healthy and productive season of Oden’s career, and all that it will mean for him and his team.

  1. johnmaine - Aug 2, 2010 at 12:37 PM

    Why Ozzie Guillen’s comments were illogical: http://bit.ly/brNZxe

  2. johnmaine - Aug 2, 2010 at 12:38 PM

    Why Ozzie Guillen’s comments were illogical: http://bit.ly/brNZxe

  3. Chris Fiorentino - Aug 2, 2010 at 2:42 PM

    What a horrible draft pick…and it isn’t hindsight. There were concerns about his knee in college, he has two different sized legs, and he just looks older. Durant is a young, fresh, big time player and he would have been the smarter first pick. Many people said it, including a dummy like me. Why didn’t Portland take Durant? Fear of being wrong and looking bad. Now they are stuck with Oden, who will never stay healthy enough to be more than an average NBA player.

  4. Drew - Aug 2, 2010 at 3:45 PM

    I guess I’m one of the dummies too who thought taking Oden was the smart pick for Portland. They had already invested in Brandon Roy (who has turned out pretty well) and needed to solidify their frontline. Oden’s dominance in college gave people a lot of optimism and was only some low post polishing away from being an excellent player. I have doubts that Durant and Roy would’ve complimented each other well. Even with a shaky knee coming into the NBA, I don’t think anyone expected him to be THIS injury-prone. But, you know what, maybe I’m wrong.

  5. JamesinVA - Aug 2, 2010 at 4:41 PM

    I GUARANTEE if any other team had the #1 pick they would have taken Oden. People can talk and say NO I WOULDA TAKEN DURANT. BS.
    Durant couldnt even bench press 175 or something. Oden was compared to being the next bill russell. Watch ODEN WILL come back strong. Look at his stats when he DID play, they are actually VERY good. Hope Oden can proove all these haters wrong and stuffs durant’s dunk attempt next season and help portland to Ws

  6. Duckworth - Aug 2, 2010 at 10:49 PM

    Can anyone say Sam Bowie?
    Kevin Duckworth was the best Portland Centre

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