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Greg Oden goes through his first NBA practice in four years with Heat

Oct 2, 2013, 11:02 PM EDT

Greg Oden AP

The Heat will not place any expectations at all on the fragile psyche of Greg Oden this season, at last not publicly. There will continue to be no timetable for his return to games that count, but Miami signed him for a reason.

If the gamble pays off, the Heat will have a big and capable body to match up with the likes of the Pacers’ Roy Hibbert in the postseason; Indiana (along with Chicago and Brooklyn) appear to be the biggest challenge to Miami’s bid to get back to a fourth straight NBA Finals.

But it will be baby steps with Oden all season long up until then. He took the first of those incremental strides on Tuesday, going through his first full practice with an NBA team in quite some time.

From Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com:

Tuesday was a bit surreal for Miami Heat center Greg Oden.

Not only was he going through his first NBA practice in four years, but it was taking place in the middle of a hotel ballroom on a tropical island.

The Heat opened training camp with a standard, defensive drill-oriented workout in a warehouse-like conference center at the Atlantis Resort. Oden took part in about half of the practice, but that still was a significant step forward as he attempts a long-shot comeback after not playing since December 2009 because of chronic knee problems.

“It felt good just being out there,” Oden said. “It’s the first time in awhile, I’m happy I got it completed. They had to pull me off the floor. But I’ve got to take steps.”

Oden’s enthusiasm to make it back will be key in continuing the long rehabilitation process. But at least in these very early stages, things are going according to a plan that Miami hopes will be fully executed by the time the postseason begins.

  1. lofty35 - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:21 PM

    At least* not publicly

  2. kb2408 - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:22 PM

    Ponder this: Miami has two no.1′s overall (LeBron and Oden), Beasley (2nd overall), Wade and Bosh (4th and 5th overall), Ray Allen (can’t remember where he was drafted but I’m sure it was top 10), and for good measure Battier (also a lottery pick I believe). I know Oden and Beasley haven’t panned out (injuries in Oden’s case and weed plus over rated in regards to Beasley) but it’s interesting that so much talent could be on one roster. That being said, I still pick Indy or Chicago to come out of the East.

    • money2long - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:24 PM

      yeah, it’s been pondered since they got oden. im happy he made it out of practice alive.

    • asimonetti88 - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:34 PM

      Ray Allen 5th overall pick
      Shane Battier 6th overall pick
      Michael Beasley 2nd overall pick
      Chris Bosh 4th overall pick
      LeBron James 1st overall pick
      Greg Oden 1st overall pick
      Dwyane Wade 5th overall pick

      Norris Cole is also a former first round pick, and Rashard Lewis was at one time the highest paid player in the NBA.

      • adamsjohn714 - Oct 3, 2013 at 12:00 AM

        this list goes to show you how big a crapshoot the draft is, as well as how dumb some GMs can be.

      • kb2408 - Oct 3, 2013 at 12:03 AM

        Mario Chalmers?

      • kb2408 - Oct 3, 2013 at 12:10 AM

        Other than Beasley, I’d say the rest of those picks were good picks. Of recent number 1 overall picks, Oden ranked behind only LeBron as a “can’t miss franchise pick.” Skills weren’t the issue with him. Every G. M. in the league would’ve taken him number 1.

      • asimonetti88 - Oct 3, 2013 at 12:36 AM

        Chalmers was the 34th overall pick… at the top of the second round.

      • adamsjohn714 - Oct 3, 2013 at 1:57 AM

        I was referring to Bosh being in front of Wade, plus Beasley being one of the worst players in the league.

      • chadley71 - Oct 3, 2013 at 12:29 PM

        this goes to show you that too many GMs ARE dumb and there are even more dumber “one and done” players getting into the NBA for a couple of years and fading away.

        both the NBA and college game are seeing the fallout, look at Kentucky that school might as well be a developmental league for “one and done” players…..IT’S SAD!!

    • antistratfordian - Oct 3, 2013 at 2:03 AM

      That is all due to the gravitational force of a one LeBron “King” James being in a city that isn’t dead. Everyone wants to play with him. They’ll take the minimum to do so because they will 1) win and 2) have fun winning and 3) have fun winning in the sun.

    • gofinsgoheatfloria - Oct 3, 2013 at 7:30 AM

      A roster full of “reclamation projects” – your term when you asked who the Heat’s next one would be just a week or so ago – is likely to have an unusually high number of one-time high draft picks sort of by definition, no? I’m not seeing much to ponder here.

      Your track record in predicting what the Heat is a bit, um, erratic, but you may be right this time. I hope not, but those two teams are certainly going to be tougher, and, who knows, maybe Brooklyn will gel faster than some think. It’s gonna be a fun year in the Esat.

      • gofinsgoheatfloria - Oct 3, 2013 at 7:31 AM

        *Heat will do*

  3. selowitch - Oct 3, 2013 at 12:40 AM

    I wish Oden the best. I’m a big fan of Ray Allen and D-Wade, so this gives me a third Miami Heat player to root for.

    • antistratfordian - Oct 3, 2013 at 2:07 AM

      Wow, three huh? That’s a lot for one team. You must be a pretty big Heat fan.

  4. harshedmellow - Oct 3, 2013 at 2:45 AM

    As a Blazer fan, I hope only good things for Oden. Yeah, it sucked to be us when that one flamed out… along with Roy…. ouch… but I’d love nothing more than for the Greg Oden story to have a happy ending, where he at least gets a 3-4-5 year window where he can contribute.

  5. misterdreamer119 - Oct 3, 2013 at 5:51 AM

    father and son playing together. aaawww!

  6. bigbamboom1 - Oct 3, 2013 at 10:53 PM

    After 4 years out, you can go or you can’t. I love the potential in Oden. But I sure wouldn’t baby him along after 4 years out. I would test him to the max in preseason. And rotate him for half games with Birdman for most of the year. If he can go this guy has true dominant center level skills. Like a young Duncan or a faster Marc Gasol. The Heat would be virtually unbeatable if he was just 80% of his rookie potential. And he would take a ton of pressure off D Wade and Chris Bosh. I say test him hard and get your answer early Miami. No use finding out in February that he is permanently damaged.

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