Greg Oden as Dwight Howard: Nate McMillan went there before.Will he go there again?
After spending the past three summers with Howard on Team USA, McMillan knows Dwight’s game intimately. But can Oden transform himself into that kind of player?
Last year when Orlando rolled into town, McMillan said he (and the organization) envisioned Oden being Dwight Howard-like once healthy and back on the court. The size. The body. It was easy at that time to see the comparison. But now I’m not so sure McMillan ventures that theory. Maybe he does.
I’m sure at least one writer will go there with the Magic rolling into the Rose Garden on Tuesday night.
So is it farfetched?
Let’s forget how Dwight can run the floor, while Oden is pulling the plow right now. He’s kind of a plodder. I’m starting to think that’s just Oden’s style. You know, kind of like how Sam Perkins – “Big Smooth” himself who played for the Mavericks, Lakers, Sonics and Pacers – always looked like he was half-asleep.
Instead, let’s take a look at Howard’s numbers from his first year in the league to see if Oden can get there…..
In 2004-05, Howard started all 82 games for Orlando. He finished the season averaging 12 points, 10 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and 32.6 minutes per game. Howard also finished third in Rookie of the Year balloting behind Charlotte’s Omeka Okafor and Chicago’s Ben Gordon.
So far this season, Oden has appeared in 16 games and is averaging 7.9 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.6 blocks and roughly 22 minutes per game. Where is he among the leagues top rookies? First? Second? Is he even the best rookie on the Blazers, let alone the league?
For a rookie season comparison, the numbers between Dwight and Greg aren’t that drastically different. Now whether Oden can follow in Howard’s impressive footsteps and accomplish similar feats that Dwight has achieved in his brief career remains to be seen.
pic via: orthopreneur