Hypothetical

Everyone here loves these, I personally do not find them very fun, and usually not very insightful except for certain cases, but I thought of one that not too many people had come up with. My hypothetical is, do you think Greg Oden would have been the first pick in the 2009 or 2010 drafts? I of course think he would have been for sure. Had Greg stayed in college, which I remember either SI or ESPN predicting he might have during his freshman year, than his microfracture surgery still would have gone down, which would have forced him to miss all of his potential sophomore season. Had he missed that, and not entered the 2008 draft, where I still think he might have had an outside chance at the first pick, he would have been granted a medical redshirt and had 3 more years of eligibility! This means he potentially could have played through his senior season until the 2011 draft. However, I will just go with him having been in college for 3 or 4 years rather than the even more unlikely 5th. Had Greg even been hurt in college this year, like he was in the NBA, would this have meant he would not be the first pick this year? I still feel he is a potential All-Star center and game changer, and I find he has much more potential than Hasheem Thabeet, and honestly, if Greg played in college last year, it would be difficult to see him not at least compete with Blake Griffin for the first pick. So even if Greg does not go #1 in '09, he would have easily landed in Memphis. I still think it would have been tough for the Clippers to pass Greg up. This coming year, even with John Wall playing as well as he has and being seen as a lock for the #1 pick in 2010, would it still not be likely that Greg could have been a lock for the top spot?

All that I am saying is that even with Greg's injuries and all of the people coming down on him and calling him a bust due to the tremendous success of Kevin Durant (because honestly, who else in 2007 would you take over Greg at this point? I still think he will be ranked right after Durant, and Durant still needs some help down low before even thinking about the Thunder contending, thus putting him up with the 3 best players in the league Bryant, James, Wade). If people look back to Sam Bowie, he missed two full seasons of college between his sophomore and junior seasons! When he played his sophomore season and averaged 17.5 and 9 (Slightly higher than Greg's freshman season, though Greg was a first team All-American and I am guessing a much better defender, not to mention leading his team to a fantastic record) Bowie was 19, his junior season, 22! This man was than picked second in the draft! Now, I know what some of you all were thinking, that we use precedent to know how to deal with situations like this in the future. But honestly, with big guys, injuries are a constant. Think of the amount of time Shaq has missed to injury. Those were some of the prime years of his career on the Lakers, years where if he had not been hurt, he could indeed have another 2-3 MVP awards. Yao Ming has missed significant time in the past 4 seasons, but no one is claiming that the Rockets made a mistake in drafting him, due to the fact that Amare Stoudemire has also missed a season due to microfracture, not to mention his eye injury last year which pretty much kept the Suns from the play-offs. I would also like to add that Kenyon Martin had an injury so serious that he was going to already miss time that next year when he was drafted #1 by the Nets in 2000. Kenyon has been injury ridden through a lot of his career, but no one has seemed to notice. I attribute this to the fact that he was in what could easily be considered the worst draft class of all-time. When the best players from the class are Michael Redd, Hedo Turkoglu, Morris Peterson and the Rookie of the Year Mike Miller, than I guess there is not that much to call you out on.

The bottom line is this, Kevin Durant to this point looks like a player who could fit well with possibly Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony to be the best 5 players in the league (with apologies to maybe Dwight Howard or Chris Paul, both of whom I would rank above Durant at this point, as well as most likely Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Dirk Nowitzki, though Durant is hot on their heels. I think Brandon Roy is a fantastic player, but I would have a hard time not taking Durant over him. Just think that at this point, Portland is a better team and I would take LaMarcus Aldridge way over Jeff Green, which I am sure Kevin Durant would as well all things considered). This of course means that yes, on the what have you done for me lately scale, not to mention looking into the future, it appears to be Kevin Durant by a land slide. However, I do indeed believe that Oden would still to this point be a guy who scouts would covet with the top pick had he stayed in college. Even in the pros, I do not think people would hesitate to try and get a player like Greg Oden if they needed a center. I just do not see the Blazers giving up on him for less than some top flight prospects along with 2-3 first round draft picks for upcoming years. The best thing about Greg's situation, and their are not many good things with being labeled already as a bust or as someone who will never be healthy, which are labels that are handed out far too early in the modern age of sports media, is that he is at least on a young team with players still developing. Not to mention, this young team has a system of players so strong that they are contending for a mid play-off seed without use of their top 2 SF's from last year, their 2 headed center that make up one of the best low post duo's in the league and an electrifying wing player who gets big minutes. It is also good too see Jerryd Bayless finally getting some much needed PT, but that is for another post regarding this latest scenario I am sure some of you have heard regarding Andre Miller outplaying Steve Blake and still being far behind him in the minutes department. But, my final point is that Greg is lucky to have this scenario at hand and still have a strong future in the NBA despite all the negativity coming his way.

Sorry for this long rant, but I want to end with my scenario and see some responses, which I do not care if they are agreeing with me or not, but hopefully are well thought out and come with strong explanations as to why it would not be a strong possibility in the hypothetical.

Would Greg Oden have been the top pick in the 2009 (Blake Griffin) or 2010 (most likely John Wall) draft? If not, why and where would he have been selected?

rtbt
Registered User
Joined: 03/25/2009
Posts: 1631
Points: 741
Offline
Triangle Offense in LA

I'm very familiar with the philosophy and theory of the Triangle offense. But in reality, it's very different in LA because Kobe takes 25 to 30 shots per game.

In his last three games, Kobe took 23, 30, and 37 shots. That doesn't appear as if they're running the offense through the pivot man.

IndianaBasketball
IndianaBasketball's picture
Registered User
Joined: 05/09/2009
Posts: 13346
Points: 27087
Offline
You don't see those teams

You don't see those teams you mentioned dumping it down into the post because... They don't have the big men to do it lol! The Diesel is a '92 and has over a hundred thousand miles. JO isn't the same after playing on one leg for years. Stoudemire can get buckets and finish, but he isn't that guy. West isn't that guy. Boozer can get you buckets down there, but no... He's not that guy. Chicago doesn't have that guy, but they've been trying to get him for years. I think the point you're trying to make is mute.

Obviously Oden fresh out of Ohio State isn't close to the Howard of today. Howard was a rookie once too though lol. That's the whole point of this... That Oden came into the league having the potential, just like Howard, to one day dominate at both ends. Oden came into the league more physically developed than Howard... Just as athletic and agile. Most experts said that if Oden were draft eligible in 2004, they'd have picked him over Howard. He had his flaws, just like Howard and other young prospects, but nothing he couldn't work on. He lacked offensive moves, but had the power and strength to make up for it for the time being. He was 18-19 years old. Like I said... IF not for the injuries, the pick wouldn't be questioned.

And by the way... Kobe's game has gotten closer to the basket as he's aged. Kobe loves the post. He's a beast down there. Just like Jordan, Kobe has perfected that area of his game. I'd bet you a month's pay that more than half of Kobe's shots come from the post.

rtbt
Registered User
Joined: 03/25/2009
Posts: 1631
Points: 741
Offline
Tezo83

You're making my point. Even in the Lakers so called Triangle Offense, the game is run through Kobe. Most of the premiere teams in the league have an offense that runs through the guards. As I mentioned in a previous post, Phoenix, Utah, Chicago, and New Orleans all have a guard oriented offense.

Tezo83, this is point number one, the NBA has changed the last 5 or 6 years into a guard oriented league. And that's one reason why outstanding guards have just as much value in the draft as outstanding big men. That wasn't the case only 8-10 years ago.

Now to point number two.

Tezo83, I don't know how many times or how else I can say that I have tremendous respect for Greg Oden. I repeatedly said the following about him:

He's a great rebounder and defender
He's very smart and a terrific teammate
But he's somewhat limited on the offense end of the court

Just because I like Kevin Durrant [40 points/12 rebounds last night], John Wall, Blake Griffin, and Tyreke Evans more than him doesn't mean I think any less of Greg Oden. I also said the difference between any of these players when making that final draft choice decision is razor thin.

What else can I say? I think a lot of Greg Oden but the difference between you and I is your preference for Greg Oden while I would go for any one of the four guys mentioned above. In my book that isn't a huge difference.

The lake show2
The lake show2's picture
Registered User
Joined: 05/26/2009
Posts: 6717
Points: 1257
Offline
there usually is a

there usually is a mvp...shaq doesnt win it without kobe and kobe doesnt win it with out shaq. both tried bth failed. shaq didnt win it again untill he got wade. kobe didnt untill he got gasol. ya'll keep tryna make it real simple like" if you put a great big man in the middle you an put any guards around them and they will win". ya'll can argue till youre blue in the fae but its just not true and if it was one big man would win over and over and over again with a bunch of different lineups on there team.

Disrespect_Me
Disrespect_Me's picture
Registered User
Joined: 11/02/2009
Posts: 307
Points: 121
Offline
bill russell did itkareem

bill russell (IQ player rn the fast break) did it as far as different guard lineups

kareem did it for 2 different teams (MIL & LA)

you just need excellent consistency (Oscar and Magic)

nowadays big men are not that consistent or fundamentally sound

Tim Duncan is the lone "throwback player" who uses his brain AND his size

Greg Oden is more power and size wish he had Tim Duncan's range

The lake show2
The lake show2's picture
Registered User
Joined: 05/26/2009
Posts: 6717
Points: 1257
Offline
yeah different guards who

yeah different guards who ended up being hof. not any regular guards. you replace shaqs kobe with magic,jordan, etc then chances are he would win a title. kareem also had allstar talent and hall of famers.

The lake show2
The lake show2's picture
Registered User
Joined: 05/26/2009
Posts: 6717
Points: 1257
Offline
as far as duncan being a

as far as duncan being a throw back player he started out playing in that era where big men were good and smart so i can really call him a throw back player. i put that label on guys who started in this era playing like that

IndianaBasketball
IndianaBasketball's picture
Registered User
Joined: 05/09/2009
Posts: 13346
Points: 27087
Offline
Everybody has their own

Everybody has their own opinion, but if you were to poll every GM in the NBA... I can guarantee you that an overwhelming majority of them would take a dominant big man who can dominate the paint at both ends over a dominant perimeter player.

mikeyvthedon
mikeyvthedon's picture
Registered User
Joined: 06/13/2008
Posts: 5723
Points: 14012
Offline
The NBA

Yes, it is true that the best players in basketball players in the league are overwhelmingly found on the wing. But, I think if you look at basketball, from past to present day, you need more than competent play in the post to win a championship. The only possible exception was pretty much, as tezo83, was the Jordan led Bulls, who still had tough defense and rebounding from the post. I know the game is changing, but the easiest way to bring your team from good to great is to bring in a potentially dominant big man. Now, I know many now seem to disagree with me, and will say that Greg looks awkward, has no offensive game, so on and so forth, but I think he has gotten a really bad rap. He plays on a team with a great perimeter game who does not at all use him as an offensive focus. However, I think his offensive game is underrated, especially if you judge by his percentages, his ability to box out on the offensive glass and his improvement as far as turning the ball over. If people watched Greg this year, you would maybe see him take it to some of the best centers in the league, who had no ability to stop him. I truly believe his foul trouble and turnovers will be things that improve with time, and hopefully with improvement on perimeter defense as well. But, I think people were kind of moving away from my hypothetical situation and onto what it takes to win or why this player is better than that player or i was right and you were wrong. People, it is great to be right about predicting a players success, but to me, if I am building a team, the best thing I could give to my fans is not Tracy McGrady, but Tim Duncan (or maybe Allen Iverson is a better example, because they were both #1 picks, but I hope you get the gist of what i am trying to say). If you have a chance to draft a dominant big man, which honestly, Greg still has a chance to be, as his combination of athleticism, size and work ethic (yes, he has it, working hard does not necessarily prevent you from being hurt unfortunately), you would be crazy not to take him in my opinion. It depends a lot on where John Wall goes as far as how successful he will be, but name the top teams contending in the NBA this year. They are as follows (In no real particular order):

Los Angeles Lakers
Cleveland Cavaliers
Boston Celtics
Orlando Magic
San Antonio Spurs (though they might be over the hill)
Dallas Mavericks
Denver Nuggets

Lets Start with the Lakers. They do have the best basketball player in the world on their team. However, they did not become contenders, even with him playing at maybe the highest level of his career, until he got help in the form of an improved Center and some depth at big man with an All-Star companion who is basically a Center but plays the 4 and a killer versatile (though inconsistent) 6th man to round out their 4 best players until they just acquired the man child known as Ron Artest. They are definitely the inside favorites to win a ring, unless of course Bynum, Gasol, Odom can not play in the play-offs (If Kobe gets hurt we can just assume they are totally f#cked). The Cleveland Cavaliers have a guy who is the same basic size as Karl Malone that also happens to be the premier athlete in NBA history. He is considered a wing player, though, who are we kidding, if Magic could have jumped Center his rookie year when Kareem was hurt, so could Bron if Diesel or Z get hurt at the same time (though neither of them are close to a 1980 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar). The Cavs traded for Shaquille O'Neal not to go 73-9 and do the same thing in the play-offs. They traded for the Diesel to hopefully do well enough in the regular season to get home court advantage and than have a monster in the paint to give Dwight Howard and Kendrick Perkins trouble on defense and be more prepared for facing the big guys of the other teams in the league. The plan seems to be working so far, though it is by no means flawless, but it certainly looks like the Cavs will be more prepared for the conference finals or second round this year (depending if they are the 1, 2 or 3 seed). Now, I saw you said something about the Celtics not having inside presence. Really? I mean, Kevin Garnett by all means is considered a PF, but the dude is a presence, not to mention the best player on their team. Yes, he let Paul Pierce score the buckets, and by all means Paul Pierce is one of the better players in the NBA, but to me, the Celtics depth at big guy and outstanding play of guys like a James Posey (tough wing guy who can guard 2-4) and even to me the great play of Leon Powe (who I think could do wonders for the Cavs and believe the Celtics could miss dearly, and very much could have been a difference maker for them in that Orlando series last year) made the Celtics team champions. Rondo played well, but to me, that team was defined by their interior toughness the championship year, and when Rondo was putting up a triple double, they went to 7 in the first round and than lost a 3-2 lead to the Magic. Not saying that Rondo did not play spectacular basketball, just saying it did not lead to the same result as before. The Magic rely on the premier 5 in the NBA, so I do not think I need to elaborate, other than they finally tried to get him some help inside as his perimeter counterparts just did not have the toughness to provide much help on the boards for him, especially against the Lakers. San Antonio still is Timmy's team. Tony Parker and Ginobili are two incredible players, but Tim Duncan wins championship, those guys are still considered borderline Hall of Famers (though I would put them both as locks, but Timmy is one of the better players of All-Time, and really did not need to do very much for the Spurs to man handle Cleveland, who had LeBron and ). This year, they are deep at guard, but Timmy is lacking interior help unfortunately, with an aging Antonio McDyess, they seem over the hill. The play-offs should be interesting, but it all depends on Timmy. Would be interesting to see how Tiago Splitter might have helped out, as I am assuming he would be just what they need to really contend. Now, I think Dallas more than Denver has this problem, but they are both to me semi weak inside. Dallas has always had problems with bigs, as noticed by their weak interior defense to fall to Miami and than the Golden State Massacre. Denver does have some interesting bigs, with the fake tough guy Kenyon Martin, a potential beast in Nene who has never quite lived up to his All-Star potential, and even the Birdman with his occasional weak side blocks. But I think both of these teams are pretenders, and the play-offs will be a point of proving themselves. I just think that they will be outplayed on the interior, most likely of course by the Lakers.

My point is not that Greg Oden is necessarily the absolute first pick in either of my scenarios, with Blake Griffin going #1 in 2009 (and no Quincey, it would not be after his freshman year, it would have been after both of Blake's years in college. 2008 would have been after Blake's freshman year) and John Wall mosy likely this year. But it is saying that as much as the NBA has changed, if you do not have more than competent post play, you are not going to win. Look at Detroit, San Antonio (2005, 2007), Miami, Boston and the Lakers. They all relied on some top notch post players and beat teams with play from the inside out. That is what it takes to win in the NBA. Yes, a John Wall could be a catalyst of a great team, but not without some damn good big guys helping him out. I mean, if you are building a team, you can not just take good wing players, because after a while you will just become the Golden State Warriors :)

mikeyvthedon
mikeyvthedon's picture
Registered User
Joined: 06/13/2008
Posts: 5723
Points: 14012
Offline
Blake Griffin

I posted this a few days before it was announced that Blake Griffin would have season ending surgery. I feel horrible for Blake and for the Clippers team/fans (the coaches/management on the other hand, I go with the Phil Jackson karma theory), but I feel Blake did not get the worst of it. I think Blake was seen as being the first pick by such a wide margin, that even someone having as fantastic a season as Tyreke Evans or who dropped mad in the draft like Brandon Jennings takes nothing away from it. I mean, a wing player like Evans, even with his lack of size for like a 3 position, would still give the Clippers a very intriguing line-up. Yes, I still think Blake was hands down the right person for them to take #1, although I thought Jennings and Evans both were right behind him, but I still think Blake got off easy in terms of his injury and in terms of the media. I just wish Greg would get the same chance. I mean, I even had someone argue that Blake had no precedent of injury, but once you sit out a year, that becomes significant. Do you have to have your season ended early on twice for it too mean you are injury prone? Again, I am not saying this in terms of negativity towards Blake Griffin at all, who I believe will bounce back and have a great Rookie Year and it will really depend where John Wall goes, but Blake will undoubtedly have a ton of ROY talk. But, what I am saying is, Blake gets hurt for the season, it is seen as the Clippers having more bad luck, just in general. Greg gets hurt, and he is Sam Bowie. How is this a fair or logical comparison? Because of 2 inches (6'10-7'0)? Because Greg was drafted ahead of a guy who is now being compared to Michael Jordan just due to the fact that he is killing it and the guy who was drafted ahead of him has been injury prone (Not saying Kevin Durant isn't a great player, but is he Michae. I mean, honestly.)? Yes, Greg has been hurt often during his young career, and no, he has not lived up to his considerable hype. But there is so much room for improvement, I just do not know why he has seemingly become a right off. He is a beast on the boards and no one can guard him straight up. For as "ugly" as his offensive game looks, it is really not even close to as bad as people say, not to mention that he is a third option due to the talent of two other tremendous players on his team. I think too call Greg Oden a bust is unfair and just ridiculous. Also, to not say that even with all of these issues that teams would not still jump at the chance to take a player of his caliber and potential is by all means a load of garbage.

Hoopsworld is like a perfect example. Someone says to a writer (Yannis), "What do you think of Bosh for Aldridge/Oden." He goes "Rejected by Toronto. Why in the world would anyone deal for Oden at this point?" I mean, it was a web chat, so I can forgive him for maybe not thinking this ridiculous statement through, but really that much disdain over Greg? The trade was indeed ridiculous as Portland has had no such offer, Bosh would have no guarantee of signing with Portland (though, in all honesty, he would have more of a chance in my opinion than of signing with Toronto, where I am currently living by the way no bias either way, because I do usually live in Portland coincidentally. Just, it my honest belief that as much as Chris "Loves Toronto", he is gone. To me, Toronto should have done a deal to get anything possible in return and will get destroyed in a sign and trade. I for one would jump at the Aldridge/Oden trade just because of the fact that getting those two guys for a player who is leaving town is highway robbery). But the "why in the world?" claim just got me. Yes, that is a site that consistently makes rushed judgments when it comes to hoops, and has ridiculous biases towards particularly anyone involved in the IMG training program or most things Florida related (like the schmoes wearing Magic jerseys, who contribute a lot more to the site than people wearing other jerseys), but their total disdain in all things Greg Oden is just staggering. Like, did they not see him own Joakim Noah, who everyone on the site was raving about being a better player than Greg? This is again, not saying anything bad about Noah, who has obviously made huge improvements in his game, had a beauty dunk right on Greg in the game and is a great rebounder, but honestly, for the potential of what Greg brings to the table, along with his total domination of Joakim in head to head competition, why would you not want a Greg Oden on your team? Injuries happen, but people also can recuperate from injuries. Some of the best in the world have, and they turned out quite alright. I think Greg will turn out to make Blazers fans very happy that he is their center, and he would make a lot of other teams happy to know he was going to being take that jump ball come next year.

RSS: Syndicate content