The latest on Greg Oden – not quite ready yet.
It seems this will be the case until well after the New Year, as the Heat make their final run towards the playoffs. There is very little incentive to play Oden at this point and risk a further setback especially because the Heat are winning just fine without him.
That said, they will need Oden come playoff time.
Just looking at the Pacers and their continued improvement the Heat will need to be able to anchor the paint and force the Pacers into jump shooters. Chris Anderson currently leads the team with 1.2 blocks per game, but is hardly the clog in the paint the Heat need to glut any interior penetration. Oden can be just that – if nothing else, for 10 minutes per game.
Right now, Oden is not ready to play 10 minutes per game, let alone in a serious of playoff proportions. So he waits. The Miami Herald reports that Oden is a bit frustrated with the process but Dwyane Wade was publicly praising Oden for his patience and his continued efforts in the process of making his comeback.
So, time will tell but right now, no Oden. Once the former #1 pick gets out on the court, it will be the first time for him in a regular season game since 2009. That alone will be an achievement and from that point forward it will remain to be seen what kind of a player he could become. It is a low-risk, high-reward move for the Heat and all signs indicate that this will pay off in the long run but, much like Oden, Heat fans have to have patience.