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Heat focused on Oden’s rehab, then will think basketball

Aug 7, 2013, 4:50 PM EDT

Greg Oden AP

The end goal, obviously, is basketball — to have Greg Oden on the court come the playoffs to put a body on Roy Hibbert and Joakim Noah.

But to reach that goal, the Heat are thinking smaller steps that have nothing to do with being on the court.

Oden has officially signed his two-year deal with the Miami Heat, but here is what Miami president and power broker Pat Riley said as part of that announcement.

“After many months of discussion, evaluations and speaking with Greg, we felt it was a perfect time for him to make his comeback and re-enter the NBA with the Miami HEAT,” Riley said in a released statement. “It’s a great challenge for him. We know all about his past injuries, but we feel that there is a huge upside and the possibility of him helping us, that’s why we took the risk. We will continue his program and then we will tackle basketball issues after that.”

Everyone who has seen Greg Oden workout has pretty much said the same thing — he looks good. He’s in shape, he’s clearly put in the time to get here and he’s moving well.

But this is the same guy who has had three microfracture surgeries and has not stepped on a court since 2009. There are ample reasons to bring him along very slowly.

Miami was attractive to Oden for that reason (and probably a couple others I can think of). The Heat don’t need him right away, they need him later in the season and in the playoffs. There was going to be less pressure to perform right away, the Heat are going to win plenty of regular season games without him.

We’ll have to see what happens when the Heat and Oden do decide to “tackle basketball issues.”

  1. kb2408 - Aug 7, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    “He looks good, he’s in shape” and he hasn’t played in over three seasons, but…..he needs rehab? Hmmmm? Best wishes on your return, Big Fella.

    • 00maltliquor - Aug 7, 2013 at 6:43 PM

      Did you catch the Heat in all caps in the article? lol

    • scorp16 - Aug 7, 2013 at 8:03 PM

      Of course he needs rehab. Miami’s trainers are amongst the best in the league. They also have access to numerous specialists like Andrews. Wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t see Oden until after the All-Star break. We may not see him until Mid March. Hell we may not even see him this year unless the matchup dictates. I don’t think Riley is going to force the issue just to win game 63 against Hibbert and Indiana. We face Indiana in the playoffs again yeah then we probably need him. Nets — well maybe— Chicago we can skate by without him.

      Not to say he won’t re-injure the knees but he won’t play until Riley says he plays. I think at this point I’ll just trust Riles in this whole process. And, Riles by the way still has an open roster spot and a mini mid level to play with. I don’t think he’s quite done just yet.

  2. TheWallyChamp - Aug 7, 2013 at 5:11 PM

    Greg Oden may be in “shape” but I doubt he’s in NBA shape or, more importantly, Miami Heat shape. Oden is going to have to be lean and strong to run with the Heat for 20-25 minutes a game on his suspect knees.

  3. kingwithringz - Aug 7, 2013 at 5:11 PM

    Imagine if this guy comes back to dominate like a #1 pick on a team with LBj, Wade, N Bosh.

    • kb2408 - Aug 7, 2013 at 6:26 PM

      How bout imagining if he can stay healthy all season long and contribute 15 solid mins a game?

  4. 1972wasalongtimeago - Aug 7, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    You notice how PBT always runs that same picture of Oden holding that water bottle like that? Just want you guys to know the we know what you’re doing.

    • ProBasketballPundit - Aug 7, 2013 at 6:04 PM

      Well, considering there’s actually a picture of Oden’s .5 liter bottle on the web… I find this much preferable.

    • 00maltliquor - Aug 7, 2013 at 6:45 PM

      It’s hard to find a picture of him playing.

  5. dj3garrett - Aug 7, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    His last full game was against Miami where he had 13 points, 20 rebounds, and 4 blocks… If he could give Miami a 3rd of that it would be a big bonus… Miami’s only weakness is rebounding and low post defense (2 things that Oden knows how to do)… If he’s healthy (and its a big if) I don’t see someone like Hibbert being able to just use size and strength against Miami… Oden is a true 7 footer that’s strong… Check Hibberts stats against other strong centers that he can’t just bully with size and strength… Everyone Miami put on Roy was about 4-5 inches shorter except for Bosh who lacks strength and girth…

  6. norvnice - Aug 7, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    OK…. Miami’s team was formed knowing they’d be SOFT in the middle!!! Now a 25 year old, 7 ft. 250 pound, former #1 pick whose taken the last 4 years off joins your squad??….. Just the THOUGHT that Greg Oden MIGHT return to half the player he could of been seems unfair. Like most Heat haters, I want someone to make them pay for being soft!

  7. 12444uggg - Aug 7, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    There’s a small chance this works. I wouldn’t hold my breath Heat fan.

  8. shanelsweet - Aug 7, 2013 at 5:47 PM

    Riley says “We will continue his program and then we will tackle basketball issues after that” Fair enough, but could somebody please report what is his program?

  9. heatdchamps - Aug 7, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    Derrick Rose will walk on the court and step on a skittle that will shatter his knee and will be out for 3 seasons. FACT

    • miamatt - Aug 7, 2013 at 6:28 PM

      Karma, man. Think of the karma.

  10. heatdchamps - Aug 7, 2013 at 6:05 PM

    Derrick Rose, then Derrick fell.
    Derrick whined, and Derrick yelled.
    All the Bulls roster, and all Chicago men,
    couldn’t get Derrick to suit up again.

    • adamsjohn714 - Aug 7, 2013 at 6:18 PM

      If you were going to put that much effort into it, why even bother with the ludicrous skittles joke before?

    • saadasme - Aug 8, 2013 at 9:33 AM

      I am so….stealing this…..

  11. bowmanj35 - Aug 7, 2013 at 10:07 PM

    I gotta say, dude hasn’t played in 3 freaking seasons, wtf is he rehabbing? if he’s rehabbing for 3 years what a waste of time to sign. all this “he looks great” talk is a joke.

  12. dezglobal - Aug 8, 2013 at 3:32 PM

    I hope he comes back strong and healthy.. He must be so eager to get out there and prove so many wrong.

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