We get a lot of good material in The Fast Lane out of how spectacular Greg Oden of the Portland Trailblazers is. But remember before the ’07 draft, the debate between Oden of Ohio State and Kevin Durant of Texas? Portland was going to take one, and Seattle was going to be happy with the other. The Blazers took the big man (in every facet) with the top pick.
Seattle…now Oklahoma City…selected the 6-9 Durant.
After averaging 20.3 and then 25.3 point per game in his first two years, Durant is averaing a league best 29.9 points per game this season. In addition, he has started and played in 209 of his team’s 219 games since being drafted.
Last night, Durant scored 36 points in a loss to Phoenix that snapped the Thunder’s nine game winning streak. It was the 29th straight game of 25-plus points for Durant, (the longest such streak since a 40-game streak by Michael Jordan in 1986-87). It’s his 33rd 30-point game of the season which is 2 games shy of Spencer Haywood’s franchise record.
The 7-0 Oden, on the other hand, injured a knee before he ever played an NBA game and missed his rookie year. Last season, injuries held him to 61 games and 39 starts, averaging 8.9 points and seven rebounds. Oden is hurt again this year, having played in 21 of 59 Blazers’ contests.
He’s out for the year, (having taken up photography as a hobby in is down time) and at the end of his first three years will have played one full season (82 games), with averages of 9.4 points and 7.3 rebounds.
This isn’t as bad…yet…as Glenn Robinson over Jason Kidd, Joe Barry Carroll over Kevin McHale or…the granddaddy of them all…Sam Bowie (chosen second by PORTLAND) over Michael Jordan (chosen third)…but it doesn’t bode well for the Blazers.
As we sit here today, Durant is in the NBA’s MVP discussion. And Oden is…literally…a punch line.
Everybody say…heyyyyy, we want Greg O-DEN…