Although the Portland Trail Blazers season has been a roller coaster ride complete with loopty-loops and Hair pin turns, the Portland Trail Blazers have made the Most with what they have.
Or, actually without what they thought they had.
Greg Oden is one of the fallen and was one of the players that were expected to have a breakout season.
Watching the Blazers struggle this season has made me think.
What if Greg were still manning the middle?
Here's a list of things that would be different With Greg in the playing rotation.
The Portland Trail Blazers are 26th in the NBA for Blocked shots. Which means they are the fourth worst team in the NBA at blocking shots. But considering they are without a true center, or even a player measuring seven feet tall, you would expect as much from a small team.
Before Greg Oden was injured, He was averaging 2.29 blocks a game, His replacements, Juwan Howard and Jeff Pendergraph have averaged .2 Blocks and .5 blocks respectively.
Leaving them 1.59 blocks per game short.
With Greg Oden in the lineup, The Portland Trail Blazers are one of the best shot blocking teams in the NBA.
As stated in the previous slide, The Trail Blazers are without a seven footer.
LaMarcus Aldridge at 6'11", is a pretty good post threat, but tends to finesse the ball into the basket, instead of using strong post moves and getting to the foul line.
Without a fractured patella on Greg Odens' right knee, The Trail Blazers would have a center that has the ability to get the team easy buckets and get the other team in foul trouble.
The Portland Trail Blazers and the fans in Rip City would not have the fear that Greg is a bust.
Ever Since Oden was taken in the 2008 NBA draft, he has had the hopes, dreams, and expectations of a city.
Greg Oden had a rocky start to his career after missing what would have been his rookie season due to precautionary micro-fracture surgery.
Then, In his regular season debut the following year, Greg Landed on the foot of Derek Fischer and sprained his ankle, causing him to miss significant time.
Later on in the season, Greg and Magette of the Golden State Warriors banged knees.
The result? Chipped kneecap for Greg Oden.
Now there is this, The Fractured kneecap of the same knee. I suppose it could have been worse, but you never want to see this happen to a good guy like Greg.
Well, you get the point.
Rip City will always live in fear of the what ifs.
Every time he goes up for a rebound Blazer fan will cringe.
Because you never know when he might come down in an awkward position. Unfortunately for Rip City, Fear is difficult to fix.
Right now the Portland Trail Blazers are without a True Center, so it's fair to say that the Blazers would have more front court depth with Greg Oden in the playing rotation.
Right now they are playing Juwan Howard and Jeff Pendergraph at the Center spots and Dante Cunningham and LaMarcus Aldridge at the four.
Both Back-ups are rookies.
Greg penciled in at the starting center spot would allow the team to rest Juwan Howards old legs, not rely so heavily on the rookies, and provide a much needed rest for LaMarcus.
Right now the Portland Trail Blazers are eighth in the Western Conference with a record of 29-22.
The Blazers have been playing with one gaping hole in the middle of the paint and have been relying on the guards to play good perimeter defense, or else the other team gets easy points in the paint.
Not only has this been tough on the likes of rookies Dante Cunningham, Jeff Pendergraph, and veteran Juwan Howard. It has provided teams with the easiest game plan they had ever used.
Get in the Paint and play in the post.
It has also provided the Blazers with the most difficult game plan in the league.
Find a way to make your makeshift 6' 9" center look bigger and more intimidating to opposing guards.
In other words, Try to plug a 7 inch hole with a 5 inch plug.
For what it's worth, the team has done an excellent job up to this point, but things would be easier with Greg Oden on the floor
The only thing that the Portland Trail Blazers wouldn't have is confidence in their two rookie forwards, Dante Cunningham and Jeff Pendergraph.
The two second round draft picks came onto the scene soon after the first wave of injuries hit. But before the season, The two young players were expected to ride the pine or get playing time in the D league.
Little did they know that they would be averaging under 20 minutes a game since the injuries took place.