Tuesday, August 6, 2013

What Greg Oden Signing with the Miami Heat Means for Greg Oden and the Miami Heat

The Miami Heat have added former No. 1 overall pick, Greg Oden, whose career has been hampered by devastating knee injuries that have caused him to play 82 games, which equals one full season, in 6 years! There are reasons why he was selected over Kevin Durant in the 2007 NBA Draft, from being a dominating presence on both ends of the floor that is a gifted athlete, with an NBA ready body at 7'0 tall, weighing in at 285 pounds.

He was described as a "once-in-a-decade" type player by Steve Kerr and still can be, since he's still only 25 and if his knees hold up as well. Unfortunately, that is a enormous if. Games like a 24 point and 15 rebound performance against the Bucks in the 2008-09 season and a 13 point, 20 rebound and 4 block performance against the Heat in the 2009-10 season showcased how dominating Greg Oden could be in the future.

Dec 5th, 2009 was the final game that he ever suited up for, for the Portland TrailBlazers suffering, yet again, another injury to his already fragile legs.

1500+ days later, 2 more micro-fracture knee surgeries and Greg Oden still hasn't played in an NBA game and no one knows how he'll be, back out on the court, banging bodies with 7 footers alike. However, according to the Miami Heat's head scout, legendary Tim Hardaway, Greg Oden is looking good on the court and is the missing link to the Heat 3-peating. At first, Greg Oden will be eased into action by the Heat, playing 12 or so minutes a game and receiving more and more minutes, once he gets comfortable. He probably will not start many games for the Heat in the 2013-14 season, maybe a few, but towards the end of the season, Oden will get significant minutes. Later in 2014-15, Greg Oden will seize the starting C job, putting Chris Bosh back into his natural position of PF. Of course, this all rides on if his knees hold up. The Miami Heat have an almost impeccable team, with its one glaring weakness being rebounding. They ranked dead-last in the NBA in rebounds per game, averaging 38.6. Yes, the Miami Heat averaged even less rebounds per game than the Boston Celtics, who rank 29th, averaging 39.3. With Greg Oden, the one weakness the Heat have is gone. No longer will teams like the Pacers, with Roy Hibbert, be able to dominate inside like they used to, which caused the Heat an agonizing amount of trouble, almost getting them eliminated from the playoffs. If everything goes well, the Miami Heat have got themselves a steal of a player for $2.17 million over 2 years, who can become a franchise player. Yes, adding to the 3 already on the Miami Heat's roster. Greg Oden could revitalize his career and possibly continue the Heat's dynasty that has already made the NBA Finals 3 times in a row, winning in 2 of their trips. The Miami Heat haven't had a dominating inside presence since the days of Shaq and with this signing, the Heat have gotten even more scarier.

The story of Greg Oden has been truly sad. Best wishes on those knees holding up, Greg Oden! We pray that you stay injury free.

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