The Celebrity of Greg Oden

21 01 2009

“Oden comes alive!” exclaims Yahoo! Sports.  Leave it to a website with an exclamation point in its name to delve into hyperbole every now and again.

“It was damp and chilly so I decided to put on my sweatshirt!” Get rid of the exclamations.

I like Greg Oden, he has been my muse at times but he’s just not that good right now.  

Sure, whenever Oden has played over 30 minutes this season — with two exceptions — he’s gotten double doubles.  But what about the other 30-some games where he’s sat on the bench in favor of Joel Przybilla.

Oden’s a rotation player in the league but there’s a reason why rookie Rudy Fernandez is getting more burn than the big man.

Oden (8.3 points) scores more than Przybilla (5.4) but he’s also attempting twice as many shots (GO’s 5.7 shots to JP’s 2.9).

What I find interesting is that Oden and Przybilla are both blocking the same amount of shots per game — 1.1 and 1.0 blocked shots.  So although he’s been billed as this impact defenseman, statistically, he’s doesn’t have much to show for it.

I think it’s unfortunate that so many people have written Oden off simply because he was injured last year.  But it’s just as unfortunate to sing his praises after he hangs 24 and 15 on the Milwaukee Bucks.  Because… they’re the Milwaukee Bucks.

His second most recent 30 minute game came against the Los Angeles Lakers where he only managed 10 points and 4 boards.  All that to say that there’s a big skill differential between the Bucks and the Lakers.  And although 24 and 15 is a great night and a good starting point… I think it’s prudent to temper our enthusiasm just a tad.

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