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Greg Oden cleared for full practice, could play for Heat in preseason

Oct 12, 2013, 6:21 PM EDT

source: AP

When Miami took a chance on signing Greg Oden this offseason, the plan was to bring him along slowly, with the hope that he’d be healthy enough to contribute at some point before the postseason run to a third straight title began.

All indications now are that he’ll be ready much, much sooner than was expected.

From Michael Wallace of ESPN.com:

Greg Oden is likely to be cleared for full practice work with the Miami Heat next week and could see his first NBA action in four years during one of their final preseason games, sources told ESPN.com on Saturday. …

“The next step for me now is just doing some five-on-five work and just getting out there,” Oden told ESPN.com. “Every little step for me, I just get excited. I just want to get out there and do more and more, get my wind back, get my legs back under me. I’m hoping in the next couple of weeks I’ll be able to get a couple of minutes out there.”

The Heat publicly remain cautious and continue to take the long view in their approach to Oden’s comeback. But there were promising signs last week when Oden went through a pair of four-on-four scrimmage sessions and responded without any unexpected concerns with his knees.

We obviously have no idea the level at which Oden will be able to contribute when he makes it back to the court, or if the knees that have caused him so many problems will hold up for any type of regular workload throughout the regular season or the playoffs.

But should Oden turn into even a serviceable center, he’d be a major asset to a Heat team that will likely have to go through Roy Hibbert and the Indiana Pacers at some point in order to make it back to a fourth straight Finals.

  1. antistratfordian - Oct 12, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    Wouldn’t it be something if Greg Oden and Beasley somehow started to close in on their potential playing with LeBron and co.? The Heat might not lose a playoff series again until the ’20s.

    “Not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4, not 5, not 6, not 7,” would become the greatest sports guarantee ever made.

    • kb2408 - Oct 12, 2013 at 7:08 PM

      Yeah, well considering they haven’t even gotten to “not 3″ yet, I think 7 is wishful thinking, at best. I wish nothing but the best for Oden. I thought he’d be a dominant, franchise center coming out of OSU. But let’s not get too excited here. After all, he “has” played in NBA games before. The problem has been keeping him healthy. To think that even one of those players will resurrect their careers is a stretch. But both? Not likely.

      • casualcommenter - Oct 12, 2013 at 7:10 PM

        Greg Oden gets cleared to practice 5-on-5 for the first time in years, and he wants to talk about a potential 9-peat championship run from 2012-2020 by the Heat. lol

      • antistratfordian - Oct 12, 2013 at 7:47 PM

        Nah – it’s more wishful thinking when you’re talking about other players. I think by the time we’re done with the LeBron James era it will seem like it was something closer to inevitable.

        I’m not expecting that much from Oden, but I think it would be entertaining if he found a way to pull a Big Z and de-vex his lower extremities.

        >>hater frustration level increasing<<

    • casualcommenter - Oct 12, 2013 at 7:09 PM

      Assuming the Big 3 stay intact after this year,
      and assuming good health for Wade, Bosh, and LeBron over the next 7 years,
      and assuming that the Heat continue to find players like Shane Battier and Ray Allen who sign up to play for below-market contracts,
      and assuming Beasley and Oden reverse the trends that have been established for the past 4 years of their careers and become consistently above-average starters,
      and assuming no LeBron-like player takes the league by storm between now and the 2020’s and takes over as the league’s best player as LeBron ages into his mid-30’s,

      …then yes, the Heat could win a lot of games between now and the 2020’s.

      However, most teams are potential dynasties if you’re willing to make THAT many rosy assumptions about the future.

      • kb2408 - Oct 12, 2013 at 10:02 PM

        Man, that was beautiful! Ding, Ding, ding….you win best comment of the day, sir.

      • adamsjohn714 - Oct 12, 2013 at 10:15 PM

        As long as Oden is healthy he’ll be very good. He played about a season worth of games in his early career, and was fantastic.

      • kb2408 - Oct 12, 2013 at 10:31 PM

        @aj714, how many players can you name (especially big men) that have come back and been “very good” after missing as much time as Oden has?

      • adamsjohn714 - Oct 13, 2013 at 12:09 AM

        It’s not like he’s forgotten how to be 7 feet tall. The only argument against him being effective is possible injury (which I consider likely). That’s why I preface everything I say about him with something like, “if healthy.”

        Birdman wasn’t on a roster for a long time, and he came back and was fantastic in the regular season and playoffs for the Heat.

      • strategicprocrastinator - Oct 13, 2013 at 10:14 AM

        Well argued, but…
        1) you don’t have to assume good health for the Heat to win. Health hasn’t been good the last 3 years.
        2) Really good teams and teams with the best player, attract vets to sign for below market contracts. That is the reality.
        3) Assuming no Lebron-like player takes the league by storm? There may be great rookies, but all rooks take time to develop. It’s ludicrous to entertain much hope from that front. Wiggins? Maybe in 2020 he can surpass Lebron. Maybe Durant has a chance.

        4) Plus, in 5 years, Lebron will be 33. That is hardly mid 30s. AND if they win 3 out of the next 5 years… 5 championships is definitely a dynasty my friend.

        And doesn’t 3 out of 5 isn’t a rosy assumption it’s a reasonable one.

      • antistratfordian - Oct 13, 2013 at 7:26 PM

        Saying that Lebron will continue to dominate is not a “rosy assumption.”

        There will be no LeBron-like player from here to 2020. Just the one.

    • ProBasketballPundit - Oct 12, 2013 at 8:33 PM

      Don’t let these haters get you down. I love your dream… and yes it would be something. I seriously doubt Oden will play more than 5 games this season but who knows.

    • pantsfreezone - Oct 12, 2013 at 9:34 PM

      Not a joke anymore. Now it might become a threat.

  2. gohawks2013 - Oct 12, 2013 at 7:03 PM

    Now we can see the 2007 #1 pick and see how good he is ! Greg Oden

  3. eugenesaxe1 - Oct 12, 2013 at 7:04 PM

    If GO lasts the entire season I’ll crap myself. As a Blazers fan, if he lasts and contributes significantly, I’ll cry.

    • legend30 - Oct 12, 2013 at 8:32 PM

      At least you guys still have the young stud, Damian Lillard! But with Blazers luck, hopefully he stays healthy.

      • strategicprocrastinator - Oct 13, 2013 at 10:17 AM

        And their new rookie was just injured.

  4. 1972wasalongtimeago - Oct 12, 2013 at 8:50 PM

    It’s funny. In the picture above, his right arm looks just like the thing he texted out a picture of a couple years back.

  5. ironman682 - Oct 12, 2013 at 9:03 PM

    Guys Remember G.O doesn’t have to carry this team, and just like how Pat/Spo. and their management designed the team to fit the big 3 and roll players, they will do the same with G.O and Beasley because they know where they going?

  6. pfic15 - Oct 13, 2013 at 12:18 AM

    Pics or it didn’t happen. Not those pics Greg!

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