You never want to see anyone get hurt. I certainly was rooting for Greg Oden to do well. He seems like a nice guy with a good head on his shoulders. He’s got the underdog background and all that. Plus, I wanted to see how the Oden-Durant thing panned out. As many of you know, I said I would’ve drafted Durant. But I want to see the best of both players.
That said, this is a huge break for the Warriors. Without Greg Oden, who is reportedly out for the season after having microfracture surgery, Portland isn’t as much of a threat to the Warriors.
Per my estimation, the teams that had the best chance of taking the No. 8 seed away from the Warriors were New Orleans and Portland. The Clippers would have been in the mix, but losing Elton Brand for the first half of the year dooms them. Now, I think, the loss of Oden hampers the Blazers in the same fashion.
Assuredly, they’ll still be better. They have some nice talent, and Joel Przybilla is an OK center. Even LaMarcus Aldridge would be a decent option at center in a small, more skilled lineup. But Oden was the centerpiece, at the very least, Robin to Batman Brandon Roy. He gave them the defensive presence they sorely needed.
That leaves the Hornets as the biggest threat, and maybe the Lakers if the Hornets are good enough to earn that seventh spot (which would leave Kobe and Baron fighting for the No. 8). Either way, that’s one less team to tangle with.
I really do hope Oden comes back as good. It would be a real loss for the NBA if he’s some oft-injured bust who never reaches his potential. Microfracture surgery has been the demise of many good players (Kenyon Martin, Chris Webber, Anfernee Hardaway), but some have bounced back exceptionally well (Amare Stoudemire, Jason Kidd). Here’s hoping Greg falls in the latter group.