Two reasons why I don’t like Oden. One, I think your reasoning on taking Oden over Durrant is rock solid, that is if the NBA were the same defensively oriented, slow paced game it was in the 1990’s when you had do have a Oden like big man to win the title. Today’s game is much faster, and the hybrid-forward/center is becoming what the steady 25/12 center was in the 90’s.
Case in point:
While doing commentary on the Magic this week, Bill Walton bashed Dwight Howard for not being able to shoot, only jumping and dunking. SO what does Howard do on Friday night: jump over Tim Duncan (old school) with less than a second to play, for the game winner. Here’s the thing: everyone knew exactly what Orlando was going to do, and since Dwight Howard can jump close to Jesus, no one could stop him. This is not the NBA that a Greg Oden thrives in more than a Kevin Durrant.
Secondly; Have we not learned anything from the 2003 draft? If it could be done all over again, this is how the draft goes:
5. T.J. Ford
298. The Human Cigar
Why does Lebron get pushed to three? Toughness. A willingness to do whatever it takes to win. Balls. A heart. He doesn’t have any of these. Lebron will probably be the most talented player to ever put an NBA uniform on, but he doesn’t have the heart that makes Wade and Melo better. If you were down by 12 with four minutes to go, you would wish you had Wade. If you were down by 1 with 3 left on the clock you’d wish you had Melo. Can you think of a scenario when you would wish you had Lebron over these guys? I know. The thing is, you cannot teach this, either you have it or you don’t.
Earlier this season the Ohio State had to inform Greg Oden that no one has ever won the scoring title without shooting the ball. Do you think Tom Creen ever had to coerce Dwayne Wade to shoot more? Do you ever think Boehim ever had problems motivating Melo? Do you think Gary Barnet wishes Durrant would take more initiative in creating offense? This is not something you can teach, either you have it or you don’t.
All that to be said, Oden could still be a great pick. He could be a solid role player that helps a young stud win a championship. Durrant could be the young stud that needs a solid role player to win a championship. Which one is more valuable. Well, if you have the first pick, which one do you need?
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