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As Heat open camp, Greg Oden still taking it slow

Sep 30, 2013, 10:49 AM EDT

Greg Oden AP

At age 21, Greg Oden was the kind of big man NBA teams are clamoring four now — a beast on the boards and protecting the rim who also could get you a fair amount of points.

At age 25, he has barely set foot on the court since then. He’s had three microfacture and seven knee surgeries overall.

All the Miami Heat are hoping for is a shadow of that former player, a guy who can give them 15 minutes a night by the end of the season and some run in the playoffs when they run into teams with big front lines (potentially Brooklyn and Indiana, for example).

But at the start of Heat training camp in the Bahamas, Oden and the team are going slow, reports Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel.

“Really, for me, I’m happy being on the court and playing and getting back into the thick of basketball,” he said at a promotional appearance at the offices of Shelling Orthodontics and Maye Pediatric Dentistry, an event which also served as a fundraiser for the Udonis HaslemChildren’s Foundation.

“I bang a little bit, still taking it slow. I’m taking steps. So I do a little bit, do a little bit of up and down, but we’re not trying to wear out the knee. We’re trying to make sure I can do a little bit and the next day I can do something, too.”

The Heat and their fans get it — it isn’t about November. Miami’s talent level is going to win then a whole lot of games and get them a high seed (teams just can’t really prepare for LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in the regular season).

If we get closer to the All-Star Game and there is no Oden, then it’s a concern. Miami could really use him in the playoffs (when teams do have time to really prepare for the Heat).

  1. miamatt - Sep 30, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    ” teams with big front lines (potentially Brooklyn and Indiana, for example).”

    I hate to point out spelling errors, but it is spelled C-H-I-C-A-G-O, not Brooklyn.

    • borderline1988 - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:09 PM

      Chicago is not a concern. The Heat dominated them 3 years ago when they were healthy. Since then, the Bulls have not gotten any better (and their star player is coming off a serious knee injury). Meanwhile, the Heat have gotten considerably better than they were that year, and Lebron James is in the prime of his career now. The Bulls play hard defense and can scrap with anyone, but they just don’t have the offense necessary to beat the best teams in a 7 game series.

      Nobody knows how the Nets will turn out, so we’ll have to reserve judgement on them. The Knicks always find a way to flame out, so we’ll leave them be.

      But if I were the Heat, I’d worry about Indiana. That team already pushed the Heat to 7 games last year, and now they are clearly better and a year more experienced. The Heat need a real defensive big man to avoid getting torched inside.

      • miamatt - Sep 30, 2013 at 2:02 PM

        I do agree that the onus is on Chicago to prove they can hang with Miami in the postseason, not the other way around.

        But all I meant is that Chicago belongs in the category with Indiana in terms of being able to defend and having the potential to pound Miami on the boards. Brooklyn? Nothing about that team’s front line scares me as a Heat fan; wake me when they get out of the first round.

      • jimjacknjose - Sep 30, 2013 at 9:22 PM

        Agreed. I do believe the Bulls are a few players away from contending. I am very excited about D Rose’s return.
        Indiana is definitely Miami’s toughest challenge out of the east. Hopefully Granger and Paul George can co-exist and put together a run to contend for the ring. My hope is that Greg Oden somehow jump starts his career so that we can see a legitimate solution for Miami against Roy Hibbert. Imagine a healthy George/Granger/West/Hibbert vs a healthy DWade/Lebron/Bosh/Oden for the east finals. That would be one hell of a series!

  2. cbking05 - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    He’s been drinking that same water bottle for years ….

  3. beach305 - Sep 30, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    Bulls, Pacers, Knicks, and Net’s all have a shot. Teams to look out for are the wizards, sixers and cav’s.

    It going to be a fun season. I hope everybody stays healthy.

    GO HEAT!

  4. 1972wasalongtimeago - Sep 30, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    He can give them 15 of more than just minutes.

  5. 00maltliquor - Sep 30, 2013 at 5:59 PM

    He hasn’t played for like 3 seasons, what’s he still trying to recover from and take it slow for!!??

  6. mrfsilva - Oct 1, 2013 at 7:45 AM

    Indiana, without a question is more dangerous. The Nets added veterans superstars that can be dangerous in the playoffs.

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