The Seattle Blazer: Oden Could Be Postseason Dark Horse

Pete TreperinasCorrespondent IApril 15, 2009

PORTLAND, OR - DECEMBER 09:  Greg Oden #52 of the Portland Trail Blazers dunks over Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic at the Rose Garden on December 9, 2008 in Portland, Oregon.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

Brandon Roy is the leader of the Portland Trail Blazers.

We won't even start to question this. But Portland could possibly have a secret weapon this postseason in Greg Oden.

Oden fell way short of his expectations in his rookie year. Plagued by both injuries and foul trouble, he's lost his starting spot to Joel Przybilla. Oden, did however play well on Monday nigh'ts slaughtering of the OKC, with 16 points and nine boards in 20 minutes and has shown flashes of potential throughout his second season.

He's had his fair share of poor games, but if he can average a double-double coming off the bench for the Blazers, things could get better. I think that the biggest problem that he's had this year is finding out where he fits in.

At this point in time, Oden doesn't appear ready to start in the NBA. He's shown that he can't effectively play more than 25 minutes a game without getting into foul trouble. And if Portland wants to keep Oden's legs fresh, I think he fits in well splitting time with a veteran like Przybilla. 

"Disappointment" has been the main word associated with Oden's rookie campaign. If this continues, he'll be considered nothing short of Kwame 2.0. People are losing hope in Oden, and his stock is way down.

But that's why I think he could surprise people in the Playoffs. The times that I've gone to the Rose Garden this year, whenever the fans start getting down on Oden, he seems to step his game up and make a few big plays.

The funny thing is that a lot of people expected Oden to be a player similar to Shaquille O'Neal and other dominant centers: 20-plus points a game and about 10 rebounds. Even in college, Oden only averaged 15.7 points a game. He's never been a huge scorer and he probably never will be.

Right now Oden is averaging about nine points per game. But where Oden has been lacking offensively, he'll need to make up on defense. His defense has been somewhat productive this year with his shot-blocking and ability to alter shots in the paint above all other aspects, this could be where he surprises people in the postseason.

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