Greg Oden was the first pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, unfortunately the team that drafted him, the Portland Trail Blazers, didn’t get to benefit this season from the big guy. Looks like that will all change for next season as Oden practiced with the team for 45 minutes yesterday. Oden sat out his “rookie” season after undergoing microfracture surgery on his right knee.
Oden was not at 100% but went through drills, jumped and dunked - the Trail Blazers are surely ecstatic at this. “It’s nice to see him get to this point, and to do it during the season,” Blazers coach Nate McMillan said. “If he is at this point right now, he should be in good shape come training camp.”
Oden’s teammate Brandon Roy was also pleasantly surprised at Oden’s practice participation and is looking forward to next season. “It almost brought it back to preseason when he was in the gym working out and there was that buzz,” Roy said.? “I mean, this season wasn’t bad, but you can still tell that he’s going to be something special, and that’s exciting. You think about all the players we can have next season, and you know, it’s going to be all right. It’s going to be cool.”
The Trail Blazers might be the surprise team of the 2007 / 2008 NBA season. Not only do they have a winning record (34-31) but they put on a impressive winning streak earlier this season. With a core group of young players adding Oden into the mix is only going to mean good things are to come. My prediction is that next year they are a playoff team and might even shock someone in the first round.