Posts Tagged ‘Greg Oden’

Erik Spoelstra And Greg Oden Want Their Baby Back Ribs

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — It seems like a lifetime ago, but it was actually just over five years ago that there was a very real debate about who should be the first pick in the 2007 NBA Draft: Kevin Durant or Greg Oden. As it turned out, Oden went first, Durant went second, and nothing has ever been the same since. Durant, obviously, turned into an all-world player, while Oden has struggled mightily with injuries.

The thought with Oden has always been if he could only get healthy and stay healthy, he was such a good player in college that he should still be able to have a productive NBA career. After all, he’s still only 25 years old, and reports the last few months have suggested that Oden was getting healthy enough to consider another comeback. The only question was, With which team would that comeback take place?

According to an report, Oden worked out in Indianapolis yesterday for several teams, including New Orleans, Miami and Sacramento. He also has a few other workouts scheduled for today.

But which team has the inside track on signing Oden? We might have the answer to that question, thanks to a user on Reddit.

Late yesterday afternoon, someone posted two photos on Reddit with one caption, “Look who I met today at a Chili’s In Indy.” And in the photos? Greg Oden and Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra.


While we have to wait and see where Oden ends up, this photo could mean one of two things:

1. After Oden’s workout, Oden and the Heat got together to discuss the opportunities for Oden should he sign with the Heat.

2. There was a Chili’s close to where Oden worked out and anyone near that part of town eats there because people want their baby back, baby back, baby back ribs. (Barbecue sauce *low voice*)

(via r/NBA)

Three For All: Portland Trail Blazers

by Micah Hart

As everyone knows by now, the compressed NBA schedule will force every team to play three games in three nights at least one this season (42 times in total). With only 66 games to stake a claim to a playoff spot or seed, how teams perform during these killer slates could have a large impact on how their seasons turn out.

With that in mind, we’re going to keep track of each of the 42 three-plays to see which teams take advantage and which teams fall apart. Up next, the Portland Trail Blazers, who played three straight from Jan. 23-25.

Every time I see a fan base start to complain about bad luck, or how nothing ever works out for them, I think of Portland. That is not to say that I think Blazers fans whine all the time; on the contrary, I think of the incredible adversity and horrible luck with injuries that franchise has faced in the past few years and how despite that, they’ve still managed to make the playoffs and contend where I believe others would have folded up the tent and gone home.

When this season started with the announcement of another Greg Oden injury setback and then the retirement of Brandon Roy, I assumed Portland was done for. And though it hasn’t been easy, here they are again, keeping their heads above water and competing for the playoffs. If they have the fortitude for that, I’m sure the three-play will be a piece of cake. Let’s go to the scoreboard and find out:

Game 1: Blazers 101, Kings 89 – When you have three games in three nights, it’s great to have a guy like Jamal Crawford available, who on the right night can get hot and carry the team by himself. This was one of those nights, as Crawford sprung for a game-high 26 off the bench to lead the Blazers to an easy win. 2 points (1 for win, 1 for +10 margin)

Game 2: Blazers 97, Grizzlies 84 – So far so good, as Portland picks up another seemingly easy win, this time against the Grizzlies. Marcus Camby did his best Ben Wallace impression in this one, pulling down 22 caroms while scoring only three points. 4 points (3 for win, 1 for +10 margin)

Game 3: Warriors 101, Blazers 93 – Finally away from the friendly confines of the Rose Garden, the Blazers fell short to the Warriors in the final game to fall short of becoming the third team to sweep their three for all. Normally you’d like your chances against the Warriors when Monta Ellis scores only four points, but on this night he dished out 12 assists and Steph Curry picked up the slack with 32 to deny Portland perfection. 0 points

The Blazers finish with 6 total points, which in some ways doesn’t do them justice for their performance (with two +10 wins), but that’s why the third game is so important — it’s the hardest to win, home or away.

Up next: The Detroit Pistons play three straight Jan. 30 – Feb. 1 as they take on the three-play challenge entirely on the road: at Milwaukee, at New York, and at New Jersey.

Three for all Scoreboard:
Chicago Bulls (13 points)
OKC Thunder (12 points)
Atlanta Hawks (8 points)
Houston Rockets (7 points)
Portland Trail Blazers (6 points)
L.A. Clippers (6 points)
Philadelphia 76ers (6 points)
Denver Nuggets (6 points)
Orlando Magic (5 points)
L.A. Lakers (3 points)
Charlotte Bobcats (3 points)
New Jersey Nets (2 points)
Sacramento Kings (2 points)
Minnesota Timberwolves (2 points)
Toronto Raptors (1 point)

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Team Mating Game comes to Jimmy Kimmel Live

by Micah Hart

I haven’t been tuning into much of the pre-game shows for the NBA Finals so far (I can only devote so much time to the television before my wife starts packing stuff), but I may have to rethink that after catching a snippet of the hilarious “Team Mating Game” on last night’s Jimmy Kimmel Live pre-Finals show, featuring the Sixers’ Evan Turner and Andre Iguodala facing off against Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge and Greg Oden. Check it out:

Watch the final two segments, and see who wins, after the jump.


Bragging Rights Bracket: No. 5 Ohio State vs. No. 4 Washington

by Micah Hart

For the complete Bragging Rights rules and to vote for other matchups, click here. In this matchup, Ohio State’s Mike Conley and Evan Turner face Brandon Roy and the U-Dub Huskies. Who ya got?


Ohio State Buckeyes

Starters (all stats per 48 minutes):

Mike Conley, Grizzlies: 18.8 points,4.2 rebounds 8.9 assists 0.3 blocks 2.4 steals
Daequan Cook, Thunder: 18.7 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.0 blocks, 1.1 steals
Evan Turner, Sixers: 14.9 points, 8.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 0.4 blocks, 1.2 steals
Kosta Koufos, Nuggets: 15.4 points, 13.9 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 3.0 blocks, 1.2 steals
Byron Mullens, Thunder: 12.9 points, 16.3 rebounds, 0.0 assists, 2.6 blocks, 0.9 steals

Missed the cut: Greg Oden, Trail Blazers (injured); Michael Redd, Bucks (injured)

Team synopsis: A very young Ohio State team is proof of the work coach Thad Matta has done in Columbus. This team would certainly be better if Oden or Redd were available, but neither has appeared in a game this season so they remain ineligible (though Redd says he’ll return soon). Conley is blossoming into a competent starting point guard, but Turner, a rookie, is still raw. Neither Koufos nor Mullens has made an impact on the league yet, although both have nice statistical rates for the limited minutes they have played. (more…)

Introducing the Bragging Rights Bracket

by Micah Hart

Here’s a popular conversation around this time of year:

Sports Fan A: Oh man, imagine how good School A would be if Player X had just stayed one more year. They might have won the NCAA Tournament!

Sports Fan B: Tell me about it. And look how good School B could have been this year. Player Y and Player Z would both be seniors!

If you watched the two amazing basketball documentaries last weekend — ESPN’s “Fab Five” and HBO’s “Runnin’ Rebels” — you know what I’m talking about.

Nowadays, Chris Webber would never have called his infamous timeout in the NCAA title game because he’d almost certainly have left after his freshman year — as would have Jalen Rose and Juwan Howard. Larry Johnson, Greg Anthony and Stacey Augmon — all of whom were first-round picks in 1991 — returned to UNLV after winning the 1990 national championship. The only guys who have done that recently were Florida’s ’04s of Corey Brewer, Al Horford, Joakim Noah and Taurean Green — and even then, everyone knew they were the exception.

While we’ll never know if Syracuse could have repeated as national champs in 2004 had Carmelo Anthony stayed, or what kind of ridiculous stats Kevin Durant might have put up had he stayed four years at Texas, we do know they became stars in the NBA.

Which leads us to a new series we will be running on All Ball over the course of the next few weeks:

Bragging Rights: The Ultimate Battle for School Pride

The premise is simple:

We want to know which school has the best NBA players. Over the next few weeks, we will pit every school with at least five players currently on active NBA rosters against each other in a hypothetical, March Madness-style, single-elimination bracket.

We’ve seeded the teams (see below), and we’ll roll out a few games each week. You vote for the winners.

We’ll start this afternoon with Stanford vs. LSU.

Why spend your time wondering how good your favorite college team could have been when your favorite players are still in action today? Once a Dukie, always a Dukie, right?


Sad Trombone Of The Week

by Kevin McCormack

This is a sad, Sad Trombone of the Week, as we have to award it to Greg Oden of the Portland Trail Blazers. On Wednesday the Blazers announced that Oden would miss the rest of the season because of microfracture surgery on his left knee (not to be confused with the microfracture surgery he’s already had performed on his right knee), meaning that the big fella will now have missed three of the last four years because of major knee surgeries. Not good.

The injury news brought with it a chorus of the dreaded “B-words,” which now seem inextricably linked to Oden’s name  (Bust & Bowie, Sam). It’s unfair to Oden that he’s forever going to be compared to Kevin Durant, but them’s the breaks. And by being drafted by the team that famously passed on Michael Jordan, the historical hurdles that Oden will have to overcome in Rip City are immense.

We wish Oden well once again on his rehab — he’s always seemed like a kind-hearted, goofy kid at his core.

So the trombone sounds for you Mr. Oden. Take it home with some fantastically awful ‘N Sync karaoke:

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Extend, trade or cut – #1 Draft picks

by Micah Hart

And we’re back with another installment of the hit game Extend, Trade or Cut!

Just to refresh you on the rules (there seemed a bit of confusion last time), picture yourself as the GM of a mythical NBA franchise, and pretend that you have to choose between three players. One player you can extend with a new contract, one player you can trade for some mythical asset(s), and one player you must cut from your roster for eternity (it’s a harsh world). You may choose each option only once.

Today’s scenario asks you to consider some recent #1 picks in the NBA Draft: The Wizards’ John Wall (No. 1 in 2010), the Clippers’ Blake Griffin (No. 1 in 2009) and the Blazers’ Greg Oden (#1 in 2007).

Some pros and cons on each to help start the discussion.

John Wall: An electrifying talent with almost unlimited potential, Wall is preparing to take the nation’s capital by storm. However, he’s very young, and has only a year of college ball on his resume. The NBA is littered with seemingly can’t miss prospects who did, in fact, miss. Do you know enough about Wall to say he won’t be one of them?

Greg Oden: He may look 56, but the Blazers’ big man is still only 22 years old. A myriad of injuries have derailed each of his three NBA seasons, which means the information on him feels incomplete as well. Still, the light bulb did seem to turn on a bit last year before his latest injury (from which he has yet to return), enough that many think that if he can just stay healthy (a big if) he could still blossom into the dominant pivotman everyone thought he would be coming out of Ohio State.

Blake Griffin: Griffin was one of the most dominant college players these eyes have seen in years. He personified the expression “a man among boys” in his sophomore season at Oklahoma before declaring for and becoming the top pick in the 2009 Draft. Unfortunately, the curse of the Clippers befell him, and his subsequent knee injury forced him to miss the entire 2009-10 season. Like the other two (notice a theme here?), not much is known yet about whether his brilliance will translate to the NBA.