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As Greg Oden nears return Heat doctors measure his knees daily

Oct 14, 2013, 3:40 PM EDT

Greg Oden AP

On Monday at practice, Greg Oden played in some 5-on-5 drills, reports Ira Winderan of the Sun-Sentinel. It’s the latest in a series of small stems moving him toward a return to the court.

Still, there is no timetable on his return and the Heat are being very cautious.

How cautious? Check out this note from Michael Wallace of ESPN (via Deadspin):

Oden said trainers measure the size of his knees before and after each workout to gauge for any swelling. If the results are acceptable, the training staff clears Oden for the next day — and next phase — of work. Otherwise, his workload is lightened.

So far, he keeps getting cleared every day. According to the ESPN report we could see Oden actually on the court for a few minutes in one of the Heat’s final preseason games.

Even so, he will be used in a limited role during the regular season — the Heat have the talent to win a lot of games with or without Oden. Where they need his size will be in specific matchups — Indiana, Chicago, Detroit — and those are potential playoff matchups as well. That is when the Heat’s low-risk gamble on Oden could really pay off.

After everything, I just want to see him back on the court. I want to see Oden the person — who has worked so hard to come back — get a measure of redemption.

  1. miamatt - Oct 14, 2013 at 4:36 PM

    His knees aren’t the only thing they’re measuring.

    • ibejeph - Oct 14, 2013 at 4:54 PM

      I think they start measuring at the knee…

    • kb2408 - Oct 14, 2013 at 10:02 PM

      Even though I knew it was coming, it was still funny!

  2. Gordon - Oct 14, 2013 at 4:46 PM

    I hate the Heat, but I’m rooting for this guy to make it. It’ a bummer seeing talented players lose their careers to injury.

  3. johngalt1783 - Oct 14, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    I want to see Bosh’s minutes at Center reduced this season as much as possible and would also like to see him at PF come the playoffs.

    The more time that the Birdman and Oden can log at Center the better for the Heat during the season (70 wins?) and the playoffs (threepeat). Of course the threepeat is more important than winning 70 regular season games.

    • shytownric1 - Oct 14, 2013 at 5:02 PM

      hahahahahahahah, 70 wins, hahahahahahahahahahaha! You Heat fans kill me!

      • miamatt - Oct 14, 2013 at 5:46 PM

        I’m not saying it’s likely to happen, but considering the Heat were only 4 games short of 70 just last season, it’s not the craziest thing a fan could suggest.

        The four wins they’ll get to eliminate the Bulls again in the postseason will be sweet, though. Just sayin’…

      • antistratfordian - Oct 14, 2013 at 6:49 PM

        I don’t see anything funny about 70 wins. They definitely have the talent and depth to do it.

      • scorp16 - Oct 14, 2013 at 7:47 PM

        What if we just say 3 straight trips to the finals and back to back championships………You still laughing………..Thought not.

    • kb2408 - Oct 14, 2013 at 10:08 PM

      Yeah, they won 66 last season but this season the East is deeper and better. Plus, other than Wade, the Heat have avoided injuries to their core players. That could change this season.

      • casualcommenter - Oct 14, 2013 at 10:34 PM

        Agreed. 70 wins isn’t a crazy goal, but the Heat’s best chance to surpass 70 wins was last year, when season-ending injuries ravaged teams across the NBA while mostly sparing the Heat. Their only serious injury was Wade’s post-knee surgery rehab the first few months of the season and his bone-bruises late in the season that slowed him down but didn’t force him to miss much time.

        A lot of teams, particularly in the East, should be better this year. The Heat could easily be a better regular season team (in terms of offensive and defensive efficiency) this year but finish with a worse record last year. I personally think the Heat are #1 in the East with 62 wins, unless Greg Oden and/or Michael Beasley actually become big contributors (in which case, they’d have the depth needed to win 70 games).

      • Kurt Helin - Oct 16, 2013 at 12:53 AM

        Actually it’s a mix this year in the East. Yes, the Bulls, Pacers. Nets, Wizards, Pistons and even Knicks are better, but some of that will be balanced out by the tanking. Orlando and Philly are in now out East (Phoenix and Utah out West) and plenty of other teams will join them, such as maybe Boston. So I think if a team made a run at 70 this might be the year, just not sure Spoelstra cares enough to try.

      • mannyfresh209 - Oct 15, 2013 at 1:01 AM

        Or, everyone including Wade can be healthy all year.

      • sprint32 - Oct 15, 2013 at 3:49 AM

        So did the Heat.

    • redbaronx - Oct 15, 2013 at 12:58 PM

      @johngalt1783 – Last year winning 70 seemed realistic, but I sincerely doubt they’ll even get close to that this year. The Eastern Conference (and Western Conference for that matter), are better top to bottom, and the Heat have not made any significant improvements. Remember that in order to win 70, that means you can only afford to lose 12 times the entire season.

      There’s also a big question as to whether Wade can really return to form, or if we’re starting to see him become more of a mortal.

      My guess is that, at best, they’ll probably be in the 60-65 win range this season. Possibly less if Wade isn’t back to form or other key players suffer an injury or two.

  4. 2016olympics - Oct 14, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    To reduce wear and tear on his knees he should play “all-time defense”…Miami will be fine going 4-5 on offense.

  5. casualcommenter - Oct 14, 2013 at 4:56 PM

    Now that’s not ominous at all….

    Kidding aside – this is the smart route. A successful comeback by Oden requires constant evaluation of his knees for any pain or soreness, with immediate rest if there are any signs of damage.

    I’m one of the many skeptics who don’t think Oden will be able to give much to the Heat, BUT I agree with him that this team is the best for him. They can win 60+ games without him, so it won’t be a situation where the coaching staff pressures him to play even if he’s dealing with pain/swelling. If he can’t do much this year, he walks away with a final NBA paycheck and maybe a championship ring despite sitting on the bench all year. If he gives the Heat anything of value, the Heat are a prominent team, and he can look forward to a lot of interest when he hits free agency next year. Win win.

    • shytownric1 - Oct 14, 2013 at 5:03 PM

      He’s done. He won’t see the court this season or any season.

      • antistratfordian - Oct 14, 2013 at 7:06 PM

        “Cleared on Monday for his first 5-on-5 scrimmage work since he signed with the Heat in July, Oden rejected James’ shot at the rim and made a handful of other impressive plays as Miami prepared for Tuesday’s preseason game in Washington against the Wizards.”

      • denverhoopdreams - Oct 15, 2013 at 9:15 AM

        Why are you being so spiteful to Oden?

        Really, you only look like a troll right now, and no one likes a troll.

  6. 00maltliquor - Oct 14, 2013 at 6:17 PM

    I wonder if the total doctors bill at years end is equal to or even greater then what Oden himself is making for the season.

  7. fm31970 - Oct 14, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    It won’t take long for teams facing a Heat lineup with Oden in it to run, run, run, and use his bad knees to their advantage. Even if a guy like Hibbert gets out and runs (as best he can), it won’t take long for that to take a toll on Oden’s knees, and his presence is neutralized.

    I hope he doesn’t turn out like Brandon Roy, but the NBA is pretty unforgiving physically.

    • mannyfresh209 - Oct 15, 2013 at 1:03 AM

      You realize that run, run, running plays directly in to the Heat’s advantages right?

      • deeballer - Oct 15, 2013 at 9:46 AM

        I was going to say what Manny said. The Heat are built for run run, but are the other teams in the East built for that? In order to run run you have to have the personnel to run run and only a few teams out West do that.

      • fm31970 - Oct 15, 2013 at 10:23 AM

        Yes, they are, when they have the ball, but on the defensive end with a guy like Oden lagging behind, it’s no longer and advantage for the Heat. I understand Oden’s not going to get a ton of minutes, but I get the feeling he’s going to be more of a liability when he’s on the floor when the game is close. TIme will tell…

  8. telldatruth - Oct 15, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    Oden will always have problems! The simple fact is one leg is longer than the other one. He’ll get hurt again this season

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