What's he going to do to get ready for the season? Is he going to lose weight or focus on any particular skill? Any news would be appreciated. I'm looking forward to seeing Oden hopefully play up to his potential.
-Oden is at Ohio State working with Bill Bayno and is often doing twice a days
-He is doing everything asked of him with a great attitude
-He is working with Ohio State's strength coach and working out with former teammates (including Mike Conley)
-He is reportedly a little quicker
-They are trying to get him into camp at 275lb (I think he was 285 at the end of the season)
-Bayno thinks he is about 280 right now
-Brian Grant came in to work with Oden for a few days
-He said he is working with Greg on his footwork and trying to get Greg to get his legs more spread out to maintain balance when he has a body on him
-He is getting good lift on his shot
-Greg is able to work on a lot more than last year because there are no workouts that they have to avoid due to his knee
-They are working on him going up immediately off 1 foot on pick and rolls (like Gasol) rather than doing a jump stop that allows defenses to rotate and double team him. They are also telling him to put his leading knee in a guy's chest if they get in the way so that they won't get in his way next time.
-He will be working out with Team USA later this summer
Thanks a lot, that pretty much covers everything I wanted to know. It's good that Oden now has a summer to work more on skill and that he'll probably be in better shape. It also usually takes more than a year to come back fully from microfracture surgery. I think that people who are sleeping on him will really be surprised.
I heard Nate McMillan talking about Oden a lot during a summer league game today. He said they want him at 260. By the way I was wondering what Blazer fans expectations are for Oden. He should improve a lot, it usually takes 2 years to recover from microfracture surgery and this is year two, his condition should be much better, his skills should improve, he has a season under his belt ect. There seem to be a lot of reasons to be optimistic.
I'm not looking for any set "numbers": "We need him to be a 20/10 guy", etc. I want him to play without pain, stay injury free and gain some confidence - from there we can work on him avoiding silly fouls - gaining more confidence, etc. I want him to contribute and to be a factor, especiallly defensively.
This is an important season (#3) for Oden. He needs to be injury free, drastically reduce the number for foolish fouls, have a major impact on the defensive end and pop an occasional basket on a play run for him (not just a put-back).
Anything less than this and he can pretty much kiss a major contract goodbye.
I have a good vibe about Oden this upcoming season. I think it would be best to start the season with him on the bench to see if that gets his competative fire going and if it doesn't, then start burying him on the bench until it does.
That was a big problem I noticed from last season was that he didn't have that competative fire that a lot of guys on the team have.
I think a lot of Oden's foolish fouls came from the injury. The injury took away a lot of athletcism and quickness which held him from being in position quick enough to make a play on the ball which got him into foul trouble.
This is the year where is his injury is fully behind him and now he's getting an entire offseason to work at 100% on his game with the coaches and the U.S. team. Hopefully he can learn some things from Tim Duncan, Dwight Howard or whatever other bigs are on the squad.
If Oden imitates Wilt later in his career then that'd be ideal for Portland. Block shots, rebound, start fastbreaks, get put backs and an ocassional post up play. That style has been successful for Bill Russell and Bill Walton as well. Though I don't expect Oden to pass like Walton or Wilt. That style would be perfect on a stacked team with a lot of scorers like this Blazer team.
We've heard it from others. Now we hear it from Greg himself. He is ready to take it to the next level.
In many ways last year was hard for Greg Oden, and by the end of the season he was worn down and defeated, both physically and mentally. He went back to Ohio, got support from a sports psychologist, and went to work on his game in the gym with Brian Grant and Bill Bayno.
Now, for the first time in a long time HE is excited about his game. And he is ready to show everyone.
Oden hopes to make forceful change to his game
By Marc Spears, Yahoo! Sports 6 hours, 31 minutes ago
LAS VEGAS – Greg Oden(notes) was spent. The injuries, his inconsistent play, the expectations that came with being a supposed franchise-altering center – all of it had worn on Oden. The fun-loving free spirit who charmed the NBA as the No. 1 pick two summers ago had transformed into a brooding giant.
Even Oden admitted it: The pressure had become too much. So after the Portland Trail Blazers’ season ended with a first-round loss to the Houston Rockets, Oden retreated to Columbus, Ohio, to enroll in some summer school classes at Ohio State, clear his mind and work on his game.
His goal: To regain his swagger and prove to the Blazers he can still become a growing force in the NBA.
“They’re going to see a guy that can dominate on the court and change games,” Oden told Yahoo! Sports this week. “…They drafted me for a reason and I want to show them why they drafted me.”
To rebuild his confidence, Oden began visiting a sports psychologist. “A little shrink,” he joked.
“I’ve always been the type of guy that it doesn’t matter what I do if my team wins,” Oden said. “We made it to the playoffs for the first time in how many years, and I’m down on myself.”
The psychologist helped Oden “see himself.” Former Blazers forward Brian Grant provided similar help, flying from Cincinnati to Columbus to work with Oden four times a week, on and off the court. Grant, who is suffering from Parkinson’s disease, grew into a mentor of sorts for the Blazers’ 21-year-old center. His words stuck with Oden.
“He said, ‘People might be a lot more skilled than me, bigger than me, faster than me, but I’d be damned if I’m going to let someone outwork me when I’m out there,’ ” Oden said. “…He’s been through it all. If I need someone to talk to, I know I can call him.”
Through the first half of last season, Oden seemed all too willing to go it alone. He missed his rookie year after undergoing microfracture surgery on his right knee then his much-anticipated debut on opening night last season was cut short because of an injury to his right foot. Once again, Oden was labeled the next broken Blazers’ center, following Bill Walton and Sam Bowie.
Oden’s warm smile disappeared. Even his teammates had trouble encouraging him. He returned in a couple weeks, but another injury sidelined him for a month after the All-Star break, just as he was beginning to show some of his potential. He was supposed to help Brandon Roy(notes) and LaMarcus Aldridge(notes) lead the Blazers, and once again he was stuck on the sideline. Even after he was effective in a handful of games late in the season, Oden played poorly in the playoffs, undone by foul trouble.
“When you get drafted No. 1, they want results,” Oden said. “…I definitely did feel a lot of pressure. I just felt like it was a lot expected, like … LeBron James(notes)-type dominance.”
Oden isn’t James, but he’s determined to prove he isn’t Michael Olowokandi(notes), either. The time in Columbus seems to have done him some good. He’s also vowed to tune out his critics.
“I’m going to be me no matter what anyone else says,” Oden said. “I don’t read anything at all. It’s a lot easier that way. It’s to the point where I don’t want highlights anymore – good or bad.”
That doesn’t mean Oden is hiding from the spotlight, either. He will participate in Team USA’s minicamp this week, and the practices will be open to the media. Saturday’s scrimmage is open to the paying public. Perhaps no player has more to gain – or lose – from this week than Oden. If he plays poorly, everyone will be quick to once again write him off.
Blazers coach Nate McMillan, an assistant on Mike Krzyzewski’s Team USA staff, is eager to see how his young center performs. He knows one thing: Oden looks good. “He’s healthy and he’s ready to go,” McMillan said. “We’re excited for him.”
Oden, too, sounds excited. He says he’s stronger, both physically and mentally. His big smile has returned, and he’s quick to laugh again. Will the Blazers finally see the player they thought they drafted?
Greg Oden is stone serious about this much: This season, he’s stepping onto the court with something to prove.