Tuesday, August 13, 2013

How Greg Oden will fit into the Miami Heat

Greg Oden, once known as the next big thing in the NBA, touted as the next legendary big man that will follow the lines of Tim Duncan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a couple of microfracture surgeries later, is now known as the guy that got drafted over Kevin Durant. For Greg Oden, high expectations was an understatement, he was a former McDonalds High School All-American and 2006 Indiana Mr. Basketball, Oden went on to lead Ohio State along with current Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley to National Championship runner-ups. Although they did not finish as champions, Greg Oden finished with 25 points and 12 rebounds against a front court of Al Horford and Joakim Noah. Many seen OKC star Kevin Durant as the new Tracy McGrady and Greg Oden as the new Tim Duncan, and of course the latter is expected to bring championships. Fast forward six years later, Greg Oden might still be the first to win a ring.

Before Greg Oden made his decision, agent Bill Duffy said the former Ohio State center would choose a team where there will be "less pressure". With Oden making his decision to Miami, there is nothing but pressure as all eyes are on him to perform and become the missing piece in Miami that almost got exposed against the Indiana Pacers and the San Antonio Spurs. Miami fan or not, everybody can agree that the Heat dodged some close calls, and with a talent like LeBron James, he masked the biggest of weaknesses, and the biggest weakness is their lack of size. This was most evident when David West and Roy Hibbert were bulldozing the smaller and less imposing Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem. Birdman might of helped their lack of a down and dirty bigman, but he is not exactly a massive build and is known more for bringing energy off the bench. Greg Oden answers the Heat's problem, but is he still the same player that made him a college freshman First Team All-American?

To make things clear, it would be a stretch to assume Greg Oden will be the Heat's starting center. After being away from the game for more than two years, it will be a while for Oden to get back into NBA shape so expect the Heat to play him sporadically. Even when he gets back into fitness, do not expect him to dominate, Pat Riley brought Greg Oden for one thing and that is to be a big body. He is the response to the Roy Hibberts and the Dwight Howards of the NBA. This acquisition will also allow LeBron James to be fresher on the offensive end with not having to help as much in the paint for defense so he can focus on guarding perimeter threats instead. Expect Greg Oden to be a taller and bigger Joel Anthony, anything more than that will probably be unrealistic.