Wednesday , Oct , 29 , 2008 Oly Sandor

3 ways Portland survives Greg Oden’s latest injury

Their worst-case scenario is again reality. Reports indicate former first overall draft pick Greg Oden will miss up to a month with a sprained right foot. He sustained the injury in last night’s season opener versus Los Angeles. Thankfully, Portland has a plan. They played last year without Oden, so a comprehensive blueprint is readily available …

3 ways Portland survives Greg Oden's latest injury

Their worst-case scenario is again reality. Reports indicate former first overall draft pick Greg Oden will miss up to a month with a sprained right foot. He sustained the injury in last night’s season opener versus Los Angeles.

Thankfully, Portland has a plan. They played last year without Oden, so a comprehensive blueprint is readily available. Once ‘Rip City’ gets over the emotional letdown of again losing their franchise face, they’ll realize things aren’t so bad.

I thought it worthwhile to review the Blazers’ options with their blue-chipper on the sideline. Basically, the squad can go in three directions, all of which keeps them competitive in the tough Western Conference.

Option one … going conventional

Last year, with Oden out, Joel Pryzbilla started 67 games. If Nate McMillan wants to go defensive, he can slide the veteran into the first five. This is key. Remember, Portland rattled off several wins following a heated December practice when they decided to toughen up.

Option two … going small

Last night, Rudy Fernandez came off the bench, checked into his first NBA game, and balled like a well-seasoned pro. The numbers: 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting and 4 assists in just 30 minutes of work. Not a bad first impression.

Of course, Fernandez has starred in Europe for several years, which is exactly why he could get extended minutes in a small line-up. Travis Outlaw and LaMarcus Aldridge can play the four and five spots, while the backcourt would stay the same.

Option three … going for outside talent

There was talk of the Blazers making a move this off-season. Perhaps, now is the time to re-explore trading a younger complementary piece for additional inside depth.

What should Portland do without Oden? Will they survive in the highly competitive Western Conference? Get at us in the comment box below with thoughts and come back to HoopsVibe The Blog for more NBA tidbits. Photo courtesy of Abbey Corbett.