|I'm a big Oden fan, and I was definitely on the "Oden" end of the Oden/Durant debate. So my first reaction to seeing that he was done for the year with the infamous microfracture knee surgery was the same horror that I've seen/read/heard all through the sports media today. But as I hear more and more "the sky is falling" talk for the Blazers, I wonder if it is really THAT bad.
Of course there are obvious negatives. Oden was to be the centerpiece for their future championship aspirations. Oden is the new face of their franchise, and was likely to be a face of the NBA. Everyone was excited to follow Oden vs. Durant as rookies.
But on the other hand, the Blazers weren't playing for a title this year. They have flooded their team with young talent, and with Oden, ROY Brandon Roy and last year's 2nd pick LaMarcus Aldridge they have at least 3 should-be franchise guys...but it was going to take them some time to season before they were ready for the big time. And though they have an intimidating young front-line in training, the Blazers still lacked punch from the perimeter outside of Roy. They could still use some more talent on the wings.
So now, minus Oden, the Blazers will be built around Roy and Aldridge this year. They'll likely stink, but Roy and Aldridge should both be able to answer some questions about just how good they can be...maybe even answer them better than they could have this season if they had to adjust to playing with Oden. Plus, young bigs like Channing Frye and Josh McRoberts will get the chance to see if they're keepers once Oden comes back. Finally, because they'll stink, the Blazers could be looking at yet ANOTHER top-5 pick in next year's draft...which could be as loaded as this year.
So yeah, in the short term this sucks for the Blazers...but this could be their David Robinson injury/Tim Duncan draft situation, and if they enter the 2008 season with an added Oden AND O.J. Mayo they could still get the last laugh...
Posted by Professor at 9/13/2007 6:20:00 PM