Thursday, February 12, 2009

Greg Oden: A Damn Good Basketball Player

Dear everyone claiming Greg Oden was a mistake,

Greg Oden is a damn good basketball player. Yes, as a rookie he's plagued by foul trouble, and he's struggled to stay in the game long enough to get in a rhythm. In the minutes he has played, however, he's placed himself among the most impressive rookies this season, and indeed the past decade. Consider which of the following rookie statlines, normalized by 36 minutes per game, comes from Dwight Howard, and which is from Greg Oden:
  1. 14.1 points, 11.2 rebounds, 1.8 blocks, 59.7% true shooting percentage, 17.9 PER
  2. 13.2 points, 11.1 rebounds, 1.8 blocks, 57.1% true shooting percentage, 17.2 PER
Funny how these look close to identical, don't they?* Another question: out of Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Dwight Howard, Dwyane Wade, Amare Stoudemire, Kevin Durant and Greg Oden, who had the highest rookie year player efficiency rating (PER)?**

Given my tone, hopefully you can guess the answer.


* In case you're wondering, Oden is statline #1. Admittedly, Oden is two years older than Dwight Howard was as a rookie, but he only played .5 seasons of basketball in the 2 years before his rookie campaign, making it awfully hard to claim he was more experienced. Debuting in the NBA after an entire year of inaction isn't exactly easy.

** Oden, you idiot.


Brennan said...

Add fouls per minute. At his normal rate, he will never play more than 24 minutes per game. Making hm about as good, in 40 mins, as the vanilla gorilla.

Then again, watching Oden play (especially live) makes it very clear how awesome a defensive force he will be. Offensively...likely never that good, but another mutombo, yeah.

John said...

If Oden is a bust, it won't be because of his stats, but how often he gets to fill out the stats sheet. He is constantly injured, and can't play injured. Unless he starts taking HGH or something, he'll never be a star in the NBA.