I've received a few emails from viewers recently saying they are "concerned" about Greg Oden's professional debut. My response hasn't wavered.....take a breath!! He's going to be fine....I promise. The only question I have right now is his overall health. Seems like he's been sick since his workout for the Blazers 3 weeks ago.
I guess traveling from city to city, and people hounding you at every turn could eventually get old--especially for someone like Oden who likes to "lay low". He's just 19....with a ceiling that is astronomical.
However, I will agree with some recent critiques of Oden's game....he does need somebody to teach him better footwork, get better positioning on defense, and to understand his role. But trust me, this kid was a can't miss as an 8th grader.
He's not going to come in and dominate from day one. Kevin Pritchard talked about the draft being "a process". That's what Oden is....a process. He needs time to develop and learn the NBA game. Most people don't realize that the rules between college and the NBA are vastly different. There's a "defensive 3 second" rule--not found in college. There's a "handchecking" rule--also, not found in college.
Let's just hope he improves on his fouls. 19 fouls...and 19 points in two games is a bit wild....but if there is a guy who can teach him the ropes, it's "The Enforcer", Maurice Lucas.
Remember, Oden will be fine....it just takes a little bit of time.