If Only We Got the Second Pick

March 23, 2009

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Paul Milousis

If Only We Got the Second Pick

It's been almost two years since the mayhem of the 2007 Draft, when the question on everyone in Rip City was Oden? or Durant? As everyone knows and really, everyone expected, the Blazers chose Greg Oden, the towering behemoth center out of Ohio St. NBA history has always taught us that a dominant big man is the ultimate blue print to an NBA Championship.

Well, after missing his entire rookie season with microfracture knee surgery, Oden has been, well, pretty disappointing. We all knew he was raw and would need time to develop, especially at the offensive end but Oden is barely blocking a shot a game and is foul-prone almost every given night. Worst of all is that he seems to be getting increasingly discouraged. Everyone knows how dangerous a fragile psyche can be to a pro athlete.

Now, as we all know, patience is a virtue and with the likes of Roy, Aldridge and maybe most importantly Joel Przybilla, the Blazers can be so with Oden.  I'm sure somewhere down the road, pending injuries, Oden will be a dominant player at least as a rebounder and shotblocker. The scary pat is the injuries, will they be an ongoing issue with Oden? So far the answer would have to be yes. I'd hate to imagine a 25 year-old Oden with chronic knee issues but that maybe the reality.

While all this is happening with Oden, the second pick in that draft, Kevin Durant is quickly emerging as one of the brightest young stars in the league. In just his second season in the league, last year's Rookie of the Year is averaging over 25 points a game for the young Oklahoma City Thunder. It's his second season in the league! The guy's like 20 and he's already a stud! It's not just his scoring, Durant has improved other facets of his game. He's shooting a better percentage from the field, rebounding the ball better and facilitating fo his teammates. Another year or two and Durant will be a bonafide All-star and one of the league's top players.

 

Now imagine putting him next to Brandon Roy? No one in the league would have a more dominant one-two punch, especially one so young. Roy with his methodical ability to lull a defender to sleep and break him down with his different speeds and Durant, with his length and quick release causing match-up troubles and nightmares for defenders. Simply put the Blazers would be unstoppable but we can't go back and undo what has been done. As a die-hard Blazer nut, I just hope Oden fulfills his potential and he plays an integral role in future championships for Portland.

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