According to ESPN, Greg Oden is close to making yet another NBA comeback; this will count as his third attempt to rejuvenate his short and sub-par NBA career. I personally remain skeptical; could it be possible that Oden is simply cursed with what we ball players like to call, “old man knees?” If you’re not familiar with Odens back-story, throughout his brief career he has been privy to a string of plague injuries that have his diminished activity as an NBA player since he entered the league as the number one pick in 2007. During Oden’ s rookie year (2007), he missed the entire season and underwent a successful knee surgery, which subsequently meant that 2008-2009 would be the first NBA season because he never participated.
Upon Oden’s return in 2009, he showed significant signs of making a full comeback as he became a huge part of the Blazer front line averaging 8.9 points and more than 7.1 rebounds. In 2010 Oden suffered yet another knee injury during a game that ended his season resulting in microfracture surgery.
In total, Oden has only played 82 games over a span of five years as an NBA player, but If healthy, Oden can drastically improve the interior offense and defense for a few of the smaller NBA teams such as the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, and the Miami Heat. All of the mentioned teams lack an inside presence, while the Celtics and the Heat are among the worst rebounding teams in the league. Clearly, Oden wont be an instant impact, he will need a ton of conditioning, maybe even a trip to the NBA D-League for a few months to get his timing back. From a NBA Championship perspective, presently, there are four teams that should make a big push for Greg Odens services upon his return.
- Miami Heat – Currently at the bottom of the NBA in defensive rebounds, Miami has depth but lacks size and a true center. Chris Boch is more of a forward and he’s not known to bang in the middle with the likes of NBA centers. Without size, Miami is in trouble.
- Boston Celtics – The Celtics went from the best defensive and rebounding teams to the worst rebounding team in the league after the loss of Kendrick Perkins. Kevin Garnett is the defensive backbone of the Celtics, but the organization has drove him to the point where he his running on fumes. Garnett is expected to defend against the most elite centers and fowards in the NBA while producing 15+ points, this demand is physically and mentally taking a toll on Garnett and if he doesn’t receive any help, the Celtics wont make it past the second round of the playoffs.
- New York Knicks – One of the oldest teams in the league with an average age around 38+, most of the New York Knick centers are injured or reaching the end of their shelf life. I give the organization credit for bringing in veterans who help the team in regards to stats but most importantly veterans such as Jason Kidd provide great mentoring and leadership to the younger players. With Amare back, it will be interesting to see how the Knicks respond, at the least, if Oden were on the roster, Melo wouldnt have to worry about sharing the ball because Oden’s impact may be more on the defensive end of the court. Oden would bring a +5 defensive rebounds and a +4 offensive rebounding to the Knicks.
- Dallas Mavericks – Since the departure of Tyson Chandler the Mavericks are back to being a soft team with no identity. O.J. Mayo brings scoring to the team but defensively the Mavericks have taken a back seat and need to fill the defensive void. The Mavericks need a two-headed monster to get back into the finals.
Which team needs Greg Oden to win an NBA Championship?
- Miami Heat (38%, 10 Votes)
- Dallas Mavericks (27%, 7 Votes)
- Boston Celtics (23%, 6 Votes)
- New York Knicks (12%, 3 Votes)
Total Voters: 26