Wednesday, September 01, 2010

BDL on Greg Oden

Kelly Dwyer talked about Greg Oden in his center rankings recently. He's always doing good stuff, and this is almost exactly what I've been saying.

11. Greg Oden, Portland Trail Blazers: (last year: 11th)
A broken wrist. Microfracture surgery. A sprained foot, hurt when Andrew Bynum grabbed him from behind and forced him to stay on the floor instead of allowing him to jump at the rim. A chipped kneecap, struck by Corey Maggette on accident. A fractured left patella tendon, hurt as he landed awkwardly after contesting a shot against Houston. These are quite a few injuries, for someone who has been playing on the NCAA or NBA level since 2006.

But they're different injuries. Freak injuries. Not like Yao Ming or Zydrunas Ilgauskas or Bill Walton turning their feet into dust with repeated stress fractures. These are just things that have gone incredibly wrong.

So, I'd like to rank Oden higher. I really would. And while some might want to see him paired with Yao Ming around the same spot, it needs to be shouted that Greg Oden is not Yao Ming. He hasn't had the same repeated injuries in the same spot. He's injury-prone, yes, but only in the most literal sense of the phrase. If Oden stays healthy and can limit his fouls? He's top five. Maybe top three.

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