Between Man vs. Wild and SportsCenter, I actually watched a little bit of the NBA Summer League. There really can’t be anything more boring than watching a summer game between say, Dallas and Toronto, but I got a chance to watch the number one pick flaunt his mad skills on both ends of the floor… NOT!
Greg Oden started the game with three fouls in the first three minutes. At the end of the half he had as many fouls as points, at four. The beginning of the second half was no better as he picked up another three fouls in the first three minutes. Fortunately, the Summer League allows ten fouls, giving Oden the chance to rack up his six points and two rebounds before fouling out. As blame was mostly on him for Portland’s 74-66 loss to Boston, a series of excuses were in order. They include:
"It's a different game [in comparison to college]. They call it different,"
"There are a lot of things you can't do with hand movements and hand checks.
"I couldn't get into a groove tonight," he said. "There's always a lot of pressure out there because of who you are."
Well if those quotes don’t quell the worries of Trailblazer fans, I don’t know what will. As long as Oden doesn’t feel the pressure of being himself and once he realizes that the NBA is different from college, he can avoid racking up ten fouls in twenty minutes of play.
The reality is, the NBA Summer League doesn’t give a very accurate representation of how players will perform during the regular season, but with Oden ending the game with –5 fouls to give, let’s hope he can step his game up and turn it around. Oh, by the way, LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland’s precursor to Greg Oden, had 26 points and 11 boards.
Check this recap for highlights from what is probably the most boring way that David Stern finds to exploit his players and keep bringing in the big bucks in the off-season.