Greg Oden's Progress Hints at Bigger Impact

By DJ Byrnes on January 27, 2014 at 11:20a
David Stern looks like an elf in this picture.

Greg Oden's body hasn't cooperated with the former No. 1 overall pick, but his latest return from injury is showing more promise than ever before. From ESPN:

“He looked good in the minutes he played; he played solid for them,” Duncan said when asked what kind of lift Oden might provide down the line. “He’s a big body in there, obviously, and finished around the rim. They’re very good at moving bodies in and out of there, so who knows what he’ll bring?”

Duncan is the latest in a growing line of the league’s high-profile post players to face Oden as he takes the initial steps in a long-awaited journey back to becoming a regular contributor to an NBA rotation. Duncan, who finished with 23 points, missed his first two shots and had a turnover on his first three touches after Oden entered the game with 7:22 left in the second quarter.

Oden is still searching for his offensive rhythm, something that may be a long time coming, but the former No. 1 overall pick has already shown flashes of how disruptive he can be defensively. Oden had similar stints in recent appearances against Pau Gasol of the Lakers and Bobcats center Al Jefferson. 

As always, we're torn between our love for Greg Oden and our desire to see ANYONE but the Miami Heat win the 2014 title. Still, even if LeBron and company do pull off the three-peat, the silver lining will be Greg Oden also getting a ring. He still has a long way to go to becoming a regular contributor, especially with his conditioning, but damn is it good to see Oden back on the court.

Hopefully his bones and ligaments agree with us and cooperate for once in his life.


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tennbuckeye19's picture

I watched some of the Heat-Spurs game yesterday and the broadcasters (Jeff Van Gundy and Mike Breen) were talking about Oden's comeback and how well it was going. Breen said, "He's only 26 but I think he looks younger now than he did when he came in the league with Portland." And Van Gundy replied saying something like, "Yeah, but he still looks 50."

osu07asu10's picture

I've watched some of his game action with the heat and I cringe every time he steps on the floor, anymore he seems so fragile to me.
Anyhow, I'm glad to see his hard work and determination pay off. He has worked tirelessly to continue to pursue his dream and whatever contribution he makes, I'm damn proud to call him a buckeye and cheer him on every step of the way!

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The 0 is silent.

rdubs's picture

With Lebron and Oden (and Mario since I am a Jayhawk fan) on the team I have no problem rooting for them to win a championship.  When it comes to the pros (both NFL and NBA), I am all about the name on the back of the jersey and not the one on the front.  Players with OSU, KU, or general state of Ohio ties are easy for me to cheer for regardless of what team they play for.  

Chief B1G Dump's picture

Good for Greg, I am fairly certain all of Buckeye nation hopes nothing but the best for him.  He is a solid "awe shucks" type kid and has been dealt a bad hand thus far.  When healthy, he is obviously a top pick caliber player...and is an equally as good person.
He is in a great fit on the Heat in that, all he really needs to do (for now) is grab some rebounds and protect the rim.  As his health and sea legs improve, he can start hammering home post moves/dunks and really defending the whole lane.  Obviously, with LeBron, DWade and Bosch, he'll never be the offensive focal point so just get his body in the mix and pound the boards.
Really happy to see him back.

northcampus's picture

Hard not to root for Greg Oden, regardless of what pro team he plays for.

sb97's picture

I normally don't follow the NBA at all until after March Madness but I find myself checking box scores for Oden almost every day now.
On a semi related note.  I understand why a lot of people don't like LBJames.  But it would be nice if we could reconcile with him at some point since he is a supporter of our program.  If I remember right, it rubbed a basketball recruit the wrong way when LBJames was booed at the skull session.  Might have been Goodluck Okonoboh but I am not sure.

tennbuckeye19's picture

 If I remember right, it rubbed a basketball recruit the wrong way when LBJames was booed at the skull session.  Might have been Goodluck Okonoboh but I am not sure.

I don't remember who it was, but I thought it was a football recruit. 

On a semi related note.  I understand why a lot of people don't like LBJames.  But it would be nice if we could reconcile with him at some point since he is a supporter of our program.

Some will never forgive him. But if he comes back to Cleveland (which who knows if that will even happen), that might help things. 

NoVA Buckeye's picture

Hard not to root for Oden, but it's down right impossible to root for the Heat

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Squirrel Master's picture

3 pts, 2 rbs, 1 steal and block in 13 minutes? There are guys who play 20+ minutes who don't get those stats. Not game changing but it was pretty good against a good team like the Spurs.
I can't wait to see him be a difference maker in the playoffs.

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

Matt Gutridge's picture

Duncan, ... missed his first two shots and had a turnover on his first three touches after Oden entered the game with 7:22 left in the second quarter.

Rooting for him. Great humble player. He's doing what the Heat needs him to do, be a force on defense.
His offensive game will improve:


German Buckeye's picture

What I like about this video is the Heat bench - most of them appear to be rooting for Greg - they want him to succeed.  Nice his teammates have his back. 

OSUStu's picture

I am not torn in the least between seeing Oden winning a title and the Heat not winning another.  I am 100% in Oden's corner and would be thrilled to see him contribute to a championship run on any team.

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

740Bucks's picture

If Al-Queda had a basketball team - I would probably root for them versus the Heat.
That being said - Greg Oden has overcome a ton of set backs to get himself back into this position. Most others would've probably given up long ago with similar circumstances. Best of luck to Greg the rest of the way!!

"My idea of a good hit is when the guy wakes up on the sidelines with train whistles blowing in his head." - Jack Tatum

1967Buck's picture

Sorry 740 but you cross the line. Al-Queda basketball team huh.... I wish Mr Oden well in everything he does...

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

Al-Qaeda doesn't have any decent shooters so they'd just keep driving straight up the middle.

BuckeyeChief's picture

Because of GO, I am pulling for them this year; obviously LBJ helps recruiting, so I am slowly getting over my anger. (as a Knicks fan I just puked a bit in my mouth).

"2014 National with it!!!"

Nashville Buckeye's picture

I'm so excited for Greg.  He is by far my favorite buckeye basketball player of all-time, and I've wanted him to be healthy for SO long!  Hopefully he can keep this comeback going and stay injury free!
Go Bucks!

Hovenaut's picture

Not much of a hoops fan, less of the pro game, but I'm happy to read Oden is doing well.

allbucksallthetime's picture

You just have to have mad respect for GO for playing at this point.  How many would miss the amount of game time he has, having been given guaranteed money, and still want to play?
GO is exactly the kind of man I root for most often in sport and in life.  His being a Buckeye makes it a no-brainer for me.  Go Bucks!

Grande Gustavo's picture

If there is any player you could ever want to see succeed, it is Greg Oden.  I met him once during his lone year with the Buckeyes, and he was about the nicest, shyest, and humble athlete (person) I have ever met, and now that I'm a student here at tOSU, I've met plenty.  I'm all Miami Heat this year, not torn in any way, shape, or form.

The answer may not be at the bottom of a bottle, but it never hurts to check. 

BHT's picture

I watched some of the Heat's game yesterday, and Oden looked good defensively. He did not do much offensively (other that offensive rebounds) but no one could drive the lane against him. I cannot wait for him to contribute as a starter and I know, if he stays healthy, he will be an all star. Isn't that what we predicted when he was drafted all those years ago? If he stays healthy, whatever team he is on will be a force to contend with.

CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

Hope to see good things from Greg!  Best of luck to him!!
Go Bucks!!

gwalther's picture

Obligatory, "he made the right decision by leaving early"-comment.

Class of 2008

Indy_Buck87's picture

The heat signed Oden specifically to match up with the Pacers. I used to see him play in high school as Lawrence North is 10 miles from my house.  Great kid.  I was wanting the Pacers to sign him.  It will be interesting to see his progress.  He will need to play 20-25 minutes against the pacers over a 7 game series to be able to make a huge impact. Right now I believe the Pacers with or without a high performing Oden take the heat down. 

I know of only two things that are infinite, space and human stupidity.....and I'm not sure about space". Albert Einstein.

Poison nuts's picture

As I've said a number of times, I'm that rare member of the site who's been a Heat fan for a very long time. Long before Lebron got here...So, Oden playing for them is a big plus for me. I'll be headed to a game soon & hope I catch him getting at least a few minutes.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.