Shaq vs Oden Saturday night

Phoenix Suns center Shaquille O’Neal, now old and slowing down, still has game and once he retires will be known as one of the best ever at his position.

Portland Trail Blazers center Greg Oden missed the entire 2007-08 season but is playing this season and is considered a rookie. At a listed 285-pounds, Oden is much bigger than he was the day he was drafted first by the Portland Trail Blazers, and is still adjusting as he learns to play in the NBA while getting himself into proper shape.

Tonight at 9 p.m. ET the Blazers visit the Suns, and the two big-men will face each other for the first time.

In no way is this a true measure of how good Oden is, or how good he may someday become. Shaq, now 36 years old, is not himself anymore and putting up a modest 15.1 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. Oden, putting up 9.6 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.1 blocks on 51.2% shooting, may take another full year to get over his knee injuries and resulting surgeries, plus he still has to get in shape and develop a more sound offensive game.

Also, Shaq plays limited minutes. And Oden comes off the bench behind Joel Przybilla. So Shaq and Oden may only be on the court at the same time for brief stretches.

Still, it’s worth watching if you get it on local TV or have league pass.

Author: Inside Hoops has been a world leader in NBA basketball coverage for over 20 years. Read our blog, but also be sure to read our main website on