NBA Roundtable

Article On Oden + Blazers

In General NBA on November 3, 2009 at 8:56 am

Good article by Jason Quick in the Oregonian

I like the analogy made by Coach Nate McMillan near the start of the article, so let’s start there:

Less than 12 hours after the Blazers’ defense had been sliced and diced for 111 points in Houston, leading some players to question the effort of the team, coach Nate McMillan talked to the Blazers about a simple concept: family.

“Would you allow your brother to continue to do something he shouldn’t be doing? Or would you say something to him?” McMillan remembers telling his team. “And that’s what it is all about. They are brothers out there, this is a family, and if we are not playing defense or you are not covering your man, say something to him. It’s not personal. It’s holding each other accountable.”

The article goes on to talk about Greg Oden’s vocal presence defensively against the Thunder

As a matter of fact, there was nothing gentle about Oden on Sunday. With a voice that was as loud, forceful and stern as ever before, and with animated body language that has rarely, if ever, been seen from him in a Blazers uniform, Oden on Sunday barked, ordered and inspired his teammates.

“There was once in Toronto last year … but it was not like this,” Brandon Roy emphatically said. “Tonight, he was more vocal than ever. It was great. It was step one. But we can keep building on that.”

Nobody is ready to declare Oden a leader yet. Not after one game. But what transpired here Sunday could be the start of the season’s most important development.

It could be when Greg Oden came out of his shell. When he became a little nasty. Very much intimidating. And an immensely powerful force on this team.

Hopefully a sign of things to come from Mr. Oden as the season progresses.

  1. The turning point for Greg Oden actually came in the game where he missed those 2 crucial FT’s vs Denver last week.

    Once this young man decides to get “angry” with himself and his relatively “poor” performance to-date, rather than simply “mope” about it … look out!

    He is still on course to become the best leader, defender and rebounder at the Center position, in the current era of the game … which is precisely what an elite level team actually NEEDS from that specific position on its squad.

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