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Thread: Oden going Bender?

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    NaptownSeth is all feel Naptown_Seth's Avatar
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    Default Oden going Bender?

    I know Shawne has us in a tizzy, but with Oden now facing a looksee at his knee following an unimpressive summer as well as the hand issue last year, the idea of bust has to be creeping into the backs of some minds. In fact I think it was on PTI that the names of Walton and Bowie were brought up, 2 other short lived high draft pick bigs for Portland.

    The reason I mention Bender is that for many I think the thought was that if he'd gone to college he either would have flopped or his injury issue might have shown up sooner. I disagree since he didn't even get his big contract till after playing a full NBA season, but the timing still isn't that far off of what could be happening with Oden.

    Super high potential, gets a year or two out of high school but doesn't really get going in the NBA before chronic injury issues pop up, career fizzles out quickly.


    Naturally it's WAY WAY too soon to say this about Oden,
    but considering the buzz around him can you imagine if Indy had hit the lottery for that pick, drafted him, and were now facing these possible injury issues? You don't think the negative views and "oh no" comments would be flying, along with "the Pacers are jinxed".

    I guess for me I'm a little bit relieved that the Pacers aren't facing that situation right now, not after Bender. Naturally since it's Portland and not Indy, Greg will be just fine and go on to have a HOF career. If it was Indy he'd probably have been driving Shawne's car the other night and crashed into the canal by the USS Indianapolis memorial.

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    Default Re: Oden going Bender?

    ....still, and i might be going out on a limb here, i'd be willing to trade hulk for oden. just sayin'
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    Default Re: Oden going Bender?

    To me Oden doesn't look healthy, he looks like he could fall apart at any moment. I don't think he has good bone structure and definitely doesn't look solid and strong like a 19 year old should.

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    Default Re: Oden going Bender?

    Quote Originally Posted by BoomBaby31 View Post
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    To me Oden doesn't look healthy, he looks like he could fall apart at any moment. I don't think he has good bone structure and definitely doesn't look solid and strong like a 19 year old should.
    No, he looks solid and strong like a 30 year old.
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    Default Re: Oden going Bender?

    Bender had plenty of issues beyond his knee problem. Like for
    instance, a hoops-IQ of about 10 on a 1-100 scale.

    Oden had a higher hoops-IQ as a 16 yr old than JB had at 24.

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    Default Re: Oden going Bender?

    This is all because Oden is really 36.
    The poster formerly known as Rimfire

  7. #7

    Default Re: Oden going Bender?

    Oden going Brad Daugherty?
    or
    Oden going Ralph Sampson?

    would both be better titles. That would ask the question as to whether a player with huge all-star-level talent might have it all taken away by injury.

    That would be far preferable to comparing Oden to someone who was never more than a woulda-coulda-shoulda for more than a few fleeting minutes in any meaningful game beyond high school.

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    Bring Back Bender bballpacen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oden going Bender?

    I hope for his sake that these are some freak things that do not become bigger issues for him down the road.

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    NaptownSeth is all feel Naptown_Seth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oden going Bender?

    Quote Originally Posted by pacertom View Post
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    Oden going Brad Daugherty?
    or
    Oden going Ralph Sampson?

    would both be better titles. That would ask the question as to whether a player with huge all-star-level talent might have it all taken away by injury.

    That would be far preferable to comparing Oden to someone who was never more than a woulda-coulda-shoulda for more than a few fleeting minutes in any meaningful game beyond high school.
    PT - I made that comparison because many people cite the new "1 year in college" rule as a way to protect the NBA from buying into HS phenoms that bust. Yet Bender was healthy enough to play in what would have been his JNR year (based on his ability to play 70 NBA games), let alone his freshman year before seeing it end due to injury.

    So to me the idea that the rule helped COULD (doubt it will to be honest) be disproven by Oden. He was impressive in college but was given a small pass as well due to the hand injury.

    I guess I see that if Oden does end up running into a line of injury problems that it would look a lot like Bender's career had he been forced to go to college for 1 season. Nothing would have been uncovered by that, just as nothing (maybe) has been uncovered on Oden with his 1 year at OSU.




    For the record, I like Oden and want the local kid to make good. I also like the age restriction on the NBA. This is simply a discussion of Oden's possible injury issue AND a discussion about how the age limit still doesn't protect teams from things like Bender, which had been suggested previously.


    I mean obviously Bowie, Walton and many others already make that point but I think as we came out of the HS player era it had been forgotten a little. College PT doesn't remove risks and doesn't necessarily instill good team basketball skills or attitudes.

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    Default Re: Oden going Bender?

    Except Bender's problem wasn't injury. Bender's problem was that he wasn't very good, certainly not a top-5 talent, which would have been exposed in college.
    The poster formerly known as Rimfire

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    Default Re: Oden going Bender?

    I think it's probably way premature to try to have any real perspective on this injury. From what I've heard, it's a minor scope for "clean up." It's mildly troubling that he hurt it getting up from a couch (or first noticed it then anyway), but still nothing with career-changing implications yet.

    And anyone can break a hand. That says nothing about his musculoskeletal/tendon makeup to me and can be chalked up to freak occurence.

    So in sum, as you like to say...mountain, meet molehill.

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    Default Re: Oden going Bender?

    Quote Originally Posted by DisplacedKnick View Post
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    Except Bender's problem wasn't injury. Bender's problem was that he wasn't very good, certainly not a top-5 talent, which would have been exposed in college.
    I don't agree fully with that. First as I said, Oden was given something of a pass on his output since it was seen as an achievement thanks to the hand injury. That may be true, but we didn't really see a #1 draft pick level of college output, certainly not David Robinson/Pat Ewing kind of stuff.

    And I don't think Bender would have flopped in college. He went 78 games in his 3rd NBA season with a 36% effort from 3 and roughly 8 points in 21 mpg. Put him against NCAA talent and a closer arc and you probably see a decent level of output. Perhaps not Durant caliber of course, but not enough to remove the big "P" word from his scouting report either.

    When JB came out most of the elite NCAA talent was leaving for the NBA ASAP, so it's not like he would have faced this huge class of JNR/SNR NBA-caliber talent to show him up. He would have mostly played against the same HS kids he was already doing very well against (senior year of HS, 25/15 and 6 blocks per game, and of course the 31 he put up in the McDonald's All-American game full of the elite guys he'd face in college).


    Oden was 15.7/9.6 vs mostly players not as big as him, certainly appearing to be more physically mature than them (thus the jokes). Compare that to Duncan's 20.8/14.7 his SNR year for example. Yes his FRSH year was similar to Oden's (less points actually), but he wasn't drafted based on that season. Admiral was basically 23/12 every year except his minimal minutes freshman season, putting up 28 ppg his SNR year in fact.

    Dale Davis in his SPH year went 13.3/8.9 even and he wasn't #1 pick caliber even 2 years later with improved stats.

    So to me I'm not sold that 1 year of NCAA play with those kinds of numbers proves that much about Oden (or any 1 year player, not picking on him), nor do I believe that such numbers were out of reach for Bender in a system that would feature his shooting as a main weapon (likely would have been Mississippi St).



    Redd - hopefully I've been clear about the fact that I don't really think we can expect Oden to injury-flop this early. It's just enough to get rumblings going and to me made for a spark to the "college requirement exposes issues" discussion which is all too relevent to Pacers fans thanks to JB. I think 1 year might help a tad and I'm 100% for it, but I also think it's still barely enough to really prove that much.
    Last edited by Naptown_Seth; 09-13-2007 at 12:52 PM.

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    It Might Be a Soft J JayRedd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oden going Bender?

    Quote Originally Posted by Naptown_Seth View Post
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    I don't agree fully with that. First as I said, Oden was given something of a pass on his output since it was seen as an achievement thanks to the hand injury. That may be true, but we didn't really see a #1 draft pick level of college output, certainly not David Robinson/Pat Ewing kind of stuff.
    You must have missed the Championship Game.

    Oden was 15.7/9.6 vs mostly players not as big as him, certainly appearing to be more physically mature than them (thus the jokes).
    He was in the Big Ten, where was he supposed to find much better competition? (aside from the undisputedly best conference in America, the Big East )


    Compare that to Duncan's 20.8/14.7 his SNR year for example. Yes his FRSH year was similar to Oden's (less points actually), but he wasn't drafted based on that season.
    Not exactly fair to compare someone to Duncan. Dude was a can't-miss, four-year, post-moves-for-centuries, certified beast, who after going #1 overall, led his team to the NBA Finals in his rookie year and was the undisputed #1 PF of All Time by the time he was 30.

    No, Oden will not be that good. I don't think many sane people seriously expect him to be.

    Meanwhile, Timmy played an absurd 37 mpg his senior year and never played under 35 mpg aside from his freshmen year. Oden only played 29 mpg. That explains some of the numbers discrepancy.

    Admiral was basically 23/12 every year except his minimal minutes freshman season, putting up 28 ppg his SNR year in fact.
    What conference is Navy in again? He also had a significantly higher MPG too (like 4 mpg, I believe).

    Dale Davis in his SPH year went 13.3/8.9 even and he wasn't #1 pick caliber even 2 years later with improved stats.
    Did he block more than 100 shots with a broken dominant hand? Plus, who had ever heard of him? Clemson was horrible except for one season when they crapped out early in both the ACC tournament and March Madness. 13th overall sounds about right for that college career. And I'd say it proved right.

    So to me I'm not sold that 1 year of NCAA play with those kinds of numbers proves that much about Oden (or any 1 year player, not picking on him), nor do I believe that such numbers were out of reach for Bender in a system that would feature his shooting as a main weapon (likely would have been Mississippi St).
    Oden's spot had little to do with numbers. He's an uber-athletic physical specimen with an uncanny defensive ability, and plus-agility/footwork on the offensive end. (And FWIW, he did have pretty equivalent numbers to those put up by Hoya Paranoia dominator Patrick Ewing, notably the guy who he's most compared to by scouts.)

    Add that to the hype he's had since he was 16 and he didn't have play his way into being the #1 pick at OSU...The only thing that could have happened there was that he could have played himself out of it.

    And even with the ridiculous and unexpected emergence of phenom Kevin Durant, his somewhat pedestrian numbers for a projected Hall of Famer were not nearly enough to sway anyone's mind (or at least not Paul Allen's). Also, let's not discredit the broken hand. How good do you think Admiral and Timmy's numbers would have been offensively with a missing paw? I mean, he was shooting free throws lefty well into at least February (63%). You have to factor that into his PPG at least somewhat. I'll give him at least 3 pts a game for that alone, which assuming one extra bucket and one extra FT isn't a stretch at all.

    The blocks and especially the in-the-paint intimidation that can't be quantified were still pretty impressive, and those were his two calling cars. I'd say he exceeded expectations in both areas. And like most, I think he's a better rebounder than the numbers show because I honestly think he was playing somewhat timidly early on because of the hand early on.

    All in all, I just think Oden's case was too unique for adequate comparison. Especially to someone like Jonathan Bender who never really showed to be elite at any basketball skill. Oden has already shown that he is an elite shotblocker and an elite overall defender, at least at the NCAA level. The 3.3 BPG were nice, but you can't even quantify the number of altered shots he had or the guard kick-outs after the 7'1 man-child rotated on their dribble penetration.

    You can speculate on what Bender may have done offensively. I saw what Oden did defensively.

    (And FWIW, I would have taken Durant #1 and think he's a better player.)

    Redd - hopefully I've been clear about the fact that I don't really think we can expect Oden to injury-flop this early. It's just enough to get rumblings going and to me made for a spark to the "college requirement exposes issues" discussion which is all too relevent to Pacers fans thanks to JB.
    Gotcha.
    Last edited by JayRedd; 09-13-2007 at 01:51 PM.

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    Default Re: Oden going Bender?

    Oden's spot had little to do with numbers. He's an uber-athletic physical specimen with an uncanny defensive ability, and plus-agility/footwork on the offensive end.
    Careful, this isn't really different than the defense of Bender at the time. He was a super athlete. We are talking about turning that ability into actual results, and in this case the idea that Bender wouldn't have been able to as well.

    He hits MSU, gets plenty of nice chances to shoot the place up against weaker teams and puts up solid numbers on par with Oden. The potential doesn't go away, what you see in workouts and practice doesn't go away, no sign of serious injury (none more than Oden at least), so what's the problem.

    IMO, there is no way Bender going to Miss St for one year would have driven him out of the lottery, maybe not out of the top 5 even. I don't get where Bender didn't show anything after his all-star game output (since you cite the champ game for Oden yourself, ie single moment showcase).


    I'm not trying to discredit Oden or his situation. I just think that what we've seen from him SO FAR could easily have been Bender after 1 year. If Oden ends up out with injury forever, or never gets it going because of injuries, you are going to see a whole lot of "I knew it's" from people who in no way did know it, just as we see now with Bender.

    Maybe 4 years of college would have shown up Bender, at least in terms of injury (year 4 being the magic one). But without injury it could have been that 4 years of college actually made him a great player as it did with guys like Duncan and Robinson (not comparing him to them but his potential improvement to theirs thanks to a full college career).

  15. #15

    Default Re: Oden going Bender?

    FYI, he's out for the season

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_yl...yhoo&type=lgns

    Greg Oden , the Portland Trail Blazers' No. 1 pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, will miss the 2007-2008 season after knee surgery on Thursday, two league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
    Oden, the 7-footer out of Ohio State, underwent exploratory surgery on his right knee on Thursday in Vancouver. The extent of the damage was not immediately clear, but Oden, one of the most celebrated young players in years, will be lost for the season.
    The Blazers are expected to make an announcement shortly.
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    Default Re: Oden going Bender?

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slu...yhoo&type=lgns

    Greg Oden , the Portland Trail Blazers' No. 1 pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, will miss the 2007-2008 season after knee surgery on Thursday, two league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

    Oden, the 7-footer out of Ohio State, underwent exploratory surgery on his right knee on Thursday in Vancouver. The extent of the damage was not immediately clear, but Oden, one of the most celebrated young players in years, will be lost for the season.

    The Blazers are expected to make an announcement shortly.

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    Default Re: Oden going Bender?

    Quote Originally Posted by Naptown_Seth View Post
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    If Oden ends up out with injury forever, or never gets it going because of injuries, you are going to see a whole lot of "I knew it's" from people who in no way did know it, just as we see now with Bender.
    While I didn't think he'd have injury problems, I always thought he was over-rated(especially in these parts). I've stated as much in threads before he even went to OSU.

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    Default Re: Oden going Bender?

    WOW.

    This is the first time to my knowledge since the 1987-1988 season that the reigning #1 overall pick will not play at all.
    Last edited by Kstat; 09-13-2007 at 02:36 PM.

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    Default Re: Oden going Bender?

    comparing apples with apples...

    As college freshmen:

    David Robinson 7.6 ppg 4.0 rpg
    Patrick Ewing 12.7 ppg 7.5 rpg
    Hakeem Olajuwon 8.3 ppg 6.3 rpg
    Shaquille O’Neal 13.9 ppg 12.0 rpg
    Ralph Sampson 14.9 ppg 11.2 rpg
    Greg Oden 15.7 ppg 9.6 rpg

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    Default Re: Oden going Bender?

    Someone needs to change the thread title to Sam Bowie


    I remember posting before the draft that I would take Durrant, even though I've never seen either of these two guys play.

    Hope Oden has a long and successful career.

    I feel bad for Portland - wonder how many references there has been to Sam Bowie in Portland today

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    Default Re: Oden going Bender?

    Quote Originally Posted by pacertom View Post
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    comparing apples with apples...

    As college freshmen:

    David Robinson 7.6 ppg 4.0 rpg
    Patrick Ewing 12.7 ppg 7.5 rpg
    Hakeem Olajuwon 8.3 ppg 6.3 rpg
    Shaquille O’Neal 13.9 ppg 12.0 rpg
    Ralph Sampson 14.9 ppg 11.2 rpg
    Greg Oden 15.7 ppg 9.6 rpg
    Are you going to pull ALL the top freshman stats up there, or just cherry pick comparisons to the ones that BECAME great.

    How many of those players were drafted #1 after that single season? Seems like you've mixed those apples up more than you thought. Heck, even I (as Redd noted) didn't match the MPG or competition levels (by conference), and neither have you.

    Also it's due to D-Knick that we are talking numbers since HIS (not mine) assertion was that college would have shown that Bender just wasn't good, not whether he would get hurt or not (or perhaps had issues making him more of an injury risk).


    Meanwhile, the comparison just took on a whole new light. Knee problem no less. I really didn't think it was going to be that bad. This is devastating for Portland...unless Oden is doing a Robinson/Duncan, Blazers tank into another elite pick and then he and that pick go on to win titles every other year.
    Last edited by Naptown_Seth; 09-13-2007 at 03:34 PM.

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    Default Re: Oden going Bender?

    WOW...this is nuts. Everything I'd heard expected this to be minor. What a kick to the balls for the Blazers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Naptown_Seth View Post
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    Careful, this isn't really different than the defense of Bender at the time. He was a super athlete. We are talking about turning that ability into actual results, and in this case the idea that Bender wouldn't have been able to as well.

    He hits MSU, gets plenty of nice chances to shoot the place up against weaker teams and puts up solid numbers on par with Oden. The potential doesn't go away, what you see in workouts and practice doesn't go away, no sign of serious injury (none more than Oden at least), so what's the problem.
    Well, now that Oden is sitting out this year, this whole debate takes a big turn.

    But, I still say that Bender never showed me anything but potential. I never saw him as particularly good at anything except for being athletic.

    I just think that what we've seen from him SO FAR could easily have been Bender after 1 year.
    I don't.

    Oden proved at the NCAA level that he was an elite defender. That wasn't potential based on athleticism. That was what the world watch happen and he was awarded as the Defensive Player of the Year.

    Maybe Bender would have been an elite scorer himself, maybe not...you're speculating it would have happened because he was athletic. I'm saying I don't think he was ever a good enough scorer to wow anyone no matter how much higher he could jump than them.

    Either way, being an elite scorer doesn't translate to guarenteed NBA sucess. Look at Morrison, Troy Bell, Ike Diogu, Mike Sweetney and dozens of other 20 ppg NCAA scorers. And I personally doubt he would have ever scored that much...20 ppg is a lot in college and I never saw any reason to think he would have done that in the SEC.

    Yes, he still likely would have been lottery based on potential. But he never would have done what Durant did and I can't imagine he would have done anything to make himself a #1 overall pick.

    If Oden ends up out with injury forever, or never gets it going because of injuries, you are going to see a whole lot of "I knew it's" from people who in no way did know it, just as we see now with Bender.
    Agreed...and I guess this is your main point anyway.

    People are idiots and revisionist historians. Yes. True. Drafting Bender was never the problem. It was the extension based on nothing that hurt us. And honestly, that wouldn't even have so bad if he could have actually stayed on the court.

    If your point here is that management's ineptitude in the Bender situation is overblown, I'm with you.

    But it's more fun to pick apart the strawman flaws in an argument than deal with the actual point you're trying to make.

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    Default Re: Oden going Bender?

    He only had to maintain a #5 status though. And while we can debate on what makes a good pick based on college output that isn't directly relevent. Plus I don't specifically disagree with you on the issue of what skills translate best.

    I just think that Bender could have kept up something like 16-6-3 with 2-3 blocks at Miss St. No knee injury yet, no mighty flop to warn people off. Then the Pacers still come along, take him at 5 and get screwed.



    Oden going Bender is a player getting injured before he ever gets the chance to make good on potential, and as you point out with Bender, Oden also hasn't yet proven anything against NBA-caliber talent. We don't even know if the NCAA stars he did things against are NBA-caliber. We saw a dud effort in summer ball due to a surprising tonsil situation which takes on some level of "hmm, that really is odd" in light of this.

    Like Bender he's full of potential, now facing a serious knee rehab before doing much of anything.


    I guess we disagree on what Bender was as well. He did drop the 36% from 3 vs NBA players at age 21. Not off the charts, but for a guy at his size that's very nice. He could also block shots. He could also drive off the dribble. Not a great defender, never showed a ton of NBA awareness, but neither did he shy from the spotlight. He played well enough in the playoffs (even at 19 he scored 12 points in 21 playoff minutes going 4-6 with a 3 made and 3 boards).

    Heck, in his final game vs Philly I saw him as one of the most aggressive guys to the hole, even if he didn't rack up huge numbers in that limited play. I thought he looked fine and was shocked that he was done right after that. He certainly wasn't gimping around the court.

    Not mega-star, but I could see images of Marion in his game. I think it's really unfair to suggest that injury wasn't a major impact on what he was able to do in the NBA. Just as if Oden comes back and isn't really the same anymore you couldn't just put it on "I knew his skills wouldn't translate".



    Let's look at it a different way, had Portland gotten Oden right out of HS would they be any better off now than having seen him 1 year at OSU?

    If your point here is that management's ineptitude in the Bender situation is overblown, I'm with you.
    Yeah it is, along with just Oden's situation quickly taking on a Bender-esque trajectory. I think when it happens elsewhere you see a different reaction than when it happens to the Pacers. Fans that rip on TPTB for Bender will give Portland a massive pass on this, not that Portland should be ripped of course (back to point 1).



    Also this is less taxing to me than the Shawne-pot debates.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Oden going Bender?

    Quote Originally Posted by Naptown_Seth View Post
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    Are you going to pull ALL the top freshman stats up there, or just cherry pick comparisons to the ones that BECAME great.

    You said that he was not reminiscent of a Patrick Ewing or David Robinson type of player. I also threw in other centers in the same era just since I was curious.

    If you can find any college center since freshman became eligible in the mid-70s who put up way better numbers than Oden as a freshman, then go for it.

    I can't think of any.

    When you go back to Russell/Wilt/Jabbar/Walton then you find that as sophomores (freshmen weren't eligible) they all blew these guys away. But there is a maturity factor that makes it unfair to compare a freshman vs. a sophomore with a full year of college and collegiate coaching (albeit on a freshman team).

    Jabbar (then Lew Alicindor) was apparently so good as a freshman that the UCLA freshman team beat the national champion UCLA varsity team in scrimmages.

    I'm not saying that Oden is/was a lock to be great, I was just reminding myself and everyone else that even great centers usually start off slowly in college. And of couse none of those guys had their good hand in a cast half the freshman season.

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    Default Re: Oden going Bender?

    Quote Originally Posted by Naptown_Seth View Post
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    Also it's due to D-Knick that we are talking numbers since HIS (not mine) assertion was that college would have shown that Bender just wasn't good, not whether he would get hurt or not (or perhaps had issues making him more of an injury risk).
    College would have shown that Jon Bender was the player we saw in the NBA - definitely not good enough to be a top-10 pick.

    Numbers are irrelevant - Bender was not that good of a basketball player.
    The poster formerly known as Rimfire

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