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Archive for December 4th, 2008

odenWhile Nate McMillan was busy giving referee Joe DeRosa the business, his young Blazers were two minutes away from another growth spurt.

On a night that saw Brandon Roy’s late game heroics continue, Greg Oden flash promise and Portland take care of the Washington Wizards on the end of a back-to-back, it’s clear the second youngest team in the league is coming of age during this East coast swing that has seen the Blazers win three in a row and six-straight games.

Roy has the uncanny ability to will his team to victory, proof positive by a 22 point outing. But Oden showed and proved; he finally gave McMillan a reason to keep him in the game late in the fourth quarter, where usually he’s been relegated to the bench down the stretch. That’s been Joel Przybilla’s job. Well, on Wednesday night in Washington, Oden received a little on the job training. He showed he belonged.

Each game out Greg will grow. Some nights slow (New York). Some nights fast (Washington).

It’s almost as if he shed his security blanket at one point in the game.

When Przybilla went down and out (briefly) with a sprained left ankle, Oden had no choice but to earn his keep. Maybe somewhere in the back of Greg’s mind he finds comfort knowing Joel is all-everything defensively in the middle for Portland. Then again, maybe he saw an opportunity present itself and decided to take full advantage. A double-double later (13 points and 10 rebounds), Oden basically gave everyone the “Gas Face” – 3rd Base style.

Kick ‘em in the grill Greg….

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Quick plug for a HOOPSWORLD feature on Jerryd Bayless, from Alex Raskin – who along with Tommy Beer – covers the New York Knicks and grabbed time with the Blazers rookie while in New York. It hasn’t been an ideal situation for Bayless but he’s making the best of it….

pic via: o-live

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