So as most anyone who follows the NBA probably know - Greg Oden is out for the season. He got up of the couch a while back and his knee was hurting. Then after about a week he was running at the practice facility it hurt more and he told someone. There was some swelling and an MRI - then they scoped the knee. The papers were talking about this should not be bad and he will probably be out for six weeks. Then microfracture.... What? Microfracture? That is the worst news that could come out of exploratory surgery. The first thought with microfracture is that he might not come back. A friend sent me this page that shows all of the NBA players that have had the procedure and the results. There are some bad results but there are more good results. The key is not to come back to early and put in the work. Zack Randolph had his best year every last year 2 years after his microfracture but his first year back was a struggle.
All these bad thoughts come but then time to get back to reality. The damage was very minimal, it was clean, there was no flaking and the rest of the knee looked great. He is 19 and has loads of talent and work ethic. And by the way the Blazers have a better team than anyone gives them credit for. Sure - Oden was going to help but it was a good 50% of the season that he was in a steep, steep learning curve.
Last season the Blazers were better than anyone ever expected. That was with Roy, the Rookie of the Year and leader, out for over 20 games. Lamarcus Aldridge out at the start of the season. Joel Pryzbilla out for a good chuck then having a rough time getting back. Zack was there but he was Zack. The Blazers proved that they played well without Zack - if not better.
Certain people think the Blazers will still be bad but those are the people that probably didn't watch 5 games last year. John Hollinger over at ESPN has a mathematical formula that he says has the Blazers winning 26 games next year. Are you nuts? That is worse than last year. This team will still be in the running for the 8th spot most of the year. They will win about 35 games. As Prichard said yesterday, this gives the other players a chance to step up. And a report from Blazers practice was about how Roy and the team decided it was time to support Oden and for everyone to step up. The team could decide this because they have all been at the practice facility working out for about a month. They are there because Roy called everyone this summer. No coaches just a team that is hungry. Watch out folks the Blazers are coming. It may be a couple of years to fully get there but if you are counting them out you are a fool.
The first thing that Oden said to GM Prichard was - sorry (about 20 times). He will be back and prove to the world his talent. And he will only be about 21 when he does. The future is still very bright for the Blazers.