Well, he's here. After 18 months of Sam Bowie 2.0 talk, he's here.
Greg "Looks-Like-He's-50" Oden had his best game as a pro on Jan. 24, dropping 18 points to go along with 14 boards. Okay, so Portland played the Wizards at home. Big deal. Last time, I checked Washington was still a pro team, regardless of their record.
Oden finally displayed a bit of presence in the paint, stayed out of foul trouble, and played D.
It seems that up to this point in the season, Oden has been timid when it came to posting up, which I think was largely responsible for his 7 PPG and 8 RPG. Perhaps, he's turned a page in his young career, and Oden is coming close to the expectations that Blazers fans, the NBA, and coach Nate McMillan set for him in June of 2007.
To go back to the Wizards game, Brandon Roy played fantastic yet again. Posting another big scoring night with 22, Roy also had seven assists, five rebounds, and 10 steals.
If Oden can come up with slightly over a double-double a night, and Roy continues to have 20-point nights with a handful of dimes, Portland will have a legit one-two punch come playoff time.
Throughout the year, I've been considering LaMarcus Aldridge the No. 2 option for the Blazers, and he may still be. Aldridge had 18 points and eight rebounds against Washington.
Not to mention, Aldridge has been the most consistent Blazer behind Roy. Without Aldridge in the lineup during the injuries to both Roy and Oden, this team could be five or six games behind Denver right now rather than two.
Realistically, down the stretch Portland won't be playing Washington every night. But you have to like the way Portland's best three players ran. And maybe if Oden continues to play like he did against the Wizards, he'll get those "like, 10 championships" he was talking about a few years back.
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