Greg Oden Out for the Season
Posted by Erik on September 14, 2007
As the news came out, my heart immediately went out to both Greg Oden and the Portland franchise. I’m sure it must have been crushing to hear the results of the exploratory knee surgery that Greg just underwent. With Portland’s rebuilding centerpiece out for the season, he must be carrying a huge weight on his shoulders knowing that he will have to be supporting his team from the bench after all the hype, the anticipation and hopes that were placed on him. After his microfracture surgery, the mettle of the both franchise and this young rookie will be tested. I can’t imagine the emotional pain and stress Greg must now be going through. The Portland Trailblazers really cleaned up shop with their roster, having a very clear design and focus on rebuilding the franchise on the skills and talents of a fresh batch of players… Greg Oden, as their 1st pick was clearly a key piece in this process. They wanted a reliable Center as a primary cog in the machine that would hopefully, in the future, churn out playoff appearances and even possibly a championship or two. Fantasywise, I had reasonably good expectations for Greg. I had him potentially producing 16-18 PPG, 10.5-11.5 RPG, and at about 2.2 BPG. Alas, all these future visions of the Portland Trailblazers going through a renaissance has taken season’s-full step back towards the dark ages. Well for this season, I wish the best of luck to the Blazers and a speedy recovery to Greg.
@ Greg : Be strong, get healthy and remember “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” – Nietzsche
FANTASY IMPACT: Now that it is clear that Greg Oden will obviously not be starting at Center for the Blazers, the question is who will start and more importantly, who will step up? The Blazers’ remaining “big men” will most likely have to play center-by-committee. Expect to see an initial hazy frountcourt rotation of Joel Przybilla, Channing Frye, LaMarcus Aldridge, and dare I say even Raef LaFrentz. Allow me a bit of pun here, as we all wonder who will end up producing Portland’s Points in the Paint. This will be a definitive opportunity for the once “untradeable” Channing Frye to prove to world (well starting with himself) that he is capable of being a legitimate frontcourt option for a team. Eventually I foresee LaMarcus to separate himself from the herd showing us more flashes of brilliance that he was able to produce in last year’s 63-game played season. Just take his March numbers a launchpad for example; 14.7 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 1.6 BPG, 51.9 FG% over 30:23 minutes per game. With more solid playing time and proper coaching, expect these numbers to climb.
After the dust in the Blazers’ Fantasy Frontcourt has settled, we’ll see that the biggest weight will now be in on the shoulders of last year’s Rookie of the Year winner, Brandon Roy. He will be tasked to lead his young team both on and off the court. With Zach Randolph traded away to the Knicks, Brandon will hopefully improve on last year’s numbers as he settles into the season. I expect both his points and assists to go up as he tries to get his team more involved in the offense.