This Week in the Mercury


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Well, That Was Nice

Posted by Ezra Ace Caraeff on Thu, Nov 20, 2008 at 9:13 AM

od.jpg

No one said the Greg Oden era of Portland Trail Blazers basketball was going to be pretty. You can see the above image for proof of that. But, damn, if his home debut last night wasn't a game for the ages. The Blazers obliterated the Chicago Bulls by a dominating score of 116-74, and it wasn't even that close.

In addition to the comical stats you can extract from last night's national televised blowout--their bumbling mascot Blaze the Trail Cat missed more shots than Joel Przybilla, and Blaze used a trampoline--the real news is how quickly this team is coming together, and how Oden--glass bones and all--is improving his game at a freakish rate.

It was about three weeks ago that Oden unceremoniously limped off the court after playing just a handful of minutes, looking brittle and, well, old. But in the five games since his return, Oden has gone from meek to monster, and appears to be absolutely dominating any unlucky defender that gets in his way. Oden also looks clumsy and awkward, but it's difficult to focus on those things when you watch the man dunk a ball so viciously that it leaves the backboard dangerously swaying in his massive wake. Last night it took all of 21 seconds from the time he checked in to the game, to the time he was hanging on the rim following a monster dunk. That is ridiculous.

Of course, it doesn't hurt to have a surrounding cast of Brandon Roy, Rudy Fernandez, and a reinvigorated Przybilla, but as dominating as Oden looks right now, after just a few games, it seems like the best is yet to come.

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