Monday , Sep , 01 , 2008 Oly Sandor

Three things Portland should expect from Greg Oden’s rookie season

Reports indicate the former first overall pick will be ready for training camp and shouldn’t struggle with health issues. So his knee is good. How about his head? After all, Oden missed 2007-08, is seen by some as the next Sam Bowie, and now faces expectations bigger than the next American president …

Three things Portland should expect from Greg Oden's rookie seasonWhen Microsoft makes an appearance, it’s a big deal. Recently, team owner Paul Allen watched Greg Oden play in his first five-on-five scrimmage with the Blazers since sustaining last summer’s microfracture injury.

Reports indicate the former first overall pick will be ready for training camp and shouldn’t struggle with health issues.

So his knee is good. How about his head? After all, Oden missed 2007-08, is seen by some as the next Sam Bowie, and now faces expectations bigger than the next American president.  

Well, here are three things we should expect from Oden’s rookie season.

1) Defensive Attitude … Oden must make Portland even nastier, especially on defense. Remember, the Blazers turned their 2007-08 season around after an infamous December practice, where the team pledged to get tough. Chairs were thrown; players were fighting each other. Unlike the ‘Jail Blazers’ of yesteryear nobody got arrested. The team then rallied, winning several games in a row and were suddenly competitive out west.

Man-child must use his size and athleticism to help Portland evolve defensively. Opposing             teams have to fear the Blazers and the Rose Garden.

2) 13 points, 10 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 70 plus games … Oden should post double-figures in points and rebounds. Scoring isn’t an issue because the offense will largely revolve around Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge.

3) The Big Dance … His rookie campaign will be a disappointment if the Blazers don’t put it all together and qualify for the playoffs.

If Oden meets these criteria, his first NBA season will be a success. He’ll likely capture the top rookie award, fans will forget 2007-08, and, most importantly, those unfair comparisons to Sam Bowie will stop.

What are your expectations for Oden’s rookie season? Get at us in the comment box below with thoughts and come back to HoopsVibe The Blog for more NBA tidbits. Photo courtesy of PDX Pipeline.