Greg Oden could potentially play in a NBA game for the first time since 2009. During an interview with Ira Winderman of South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Oden hinted that he may be ready to participate in a preseason game.
“I tell people all the time, for me, I’m just happy to be able to step on the floor and just play, even just work out,” he said, with the Heat now idle until a two-game preseason trip that opens Tuesday against the Washington Wizards. “And now, to be on the NBA schedule, that’s just one more step closer to getting back out there and playing.”
Oden, who is expected to be cleared for full practice work with the Miami Heat soon, has proven to be an excellent player if healthy. Unfortunately, “if” is the keyword for the 25-year-old center. Oden averaged 11.1 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game during his 21-game run with the Portland Blazers in ’09-’10.
Playing for the two-time defending champions is a great opportunity for Greg Oden, since he will not be rushed to return, nor will his presence be desperately needed on the floor. Additionally, this experience will give Oden a chance to increase his basketball I.Q. and get healthy once more.
According to Coach Spoelstra, Greg Oden has been involved in pre-practice, film watching, and team traveling. This shows how confident the Miami Heat are in Oden’s return. Spoelstra also noted that Greg Oden has been doing “more and more” each week, which is a significant sign for Oden and the Heat.
Learning from two-time champion Chris Bosh is yet another blessing for Oden. In his first preseason game this season, Bosh scored 21 points in 20 minutes, off of 7-8 shooting from the field. In the next game against the Pistons, Bosh scored 28 points in 24 minutes, while making 12 of his 16 shot attempts.
If Greg Oden may return as his old self, the Miami Heat would be greater than ever before. It would be a picture perfect for Pat Riley’s team. Having Chalmers, Wade, James and Bosh on the court alongside a center as talented as Oden (when healthy) would definitely bring multiple championships to the city of Miami.