Baby Steps For Heat’s Oden

VIDEO: The Game Time crew discuss Greg Oden’s long awaited return to the court


Big, giant baby steps.

That’s all the Miami Heat can and should expect from Greg Oden now that he’s made his long-awaited return to NBA action as a reserve for the two-time defending champions.

Oden’s dream became a reality Wednesday night in Washington, when the former No. 1 overall pick played his first minutes since 2009. As they say, you cannot coach size. And Oden leaves a huge footprint on the court, even in limited minutes. Oden recorded an offensive rebound, a dunk and personal foul in his first 30 seconds of action. He played 8 minutes and 24 seconds altogether, finishing with six points on 2-for-3 shooting from the floor, 2-for-2 from the free throw line, and grabbed two rebounds in the Heat’s 114-97 blowout loss.

It’s been a long time coming for Oden, who missed what should have been his rookie season with a knee injury and then endured three more microfracture surgeries on his knees.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said before the game that Oden’s appearance was in the master plan and based on months of hard work by the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 Draft. Plus, the Heat need a bruiser now that former starting center Joel Anthony has been traded away.

“He’s been working very diligently,” Spoelstra said of Oden. “It’s been all part of the plan. He’s made great progress. He’s getting stronger. He’s getting healthier. He’s getting his core right. Everything without skipping steps. We’re very patient with him.”

Like I said, baby steps … big, giant baby steps!

VIDEO: Greg Oden talks about his regular-season debut with the Heat


  1. Messed up says:

    Strengthen those knees, Greg, bit by bit, day by day. You will never be the all-star everyone wanted you to be, but you will be an excellent role player if you keep this up.
    Good luck to you!

  2. JMaine says:

    @B-Baller. it’s funny hearing a rip city fan talk ish bout this man, What the heat are doing with oden is what Rip City should have done instead of rushing him back each time. same reason Brandon Roy can’t ball no more. Rip City dose not manage their players health well at all. Good luck to oden, he worked hard and took his time to get back on the hardwood. Hope his knees hold up for him.

    • #dwade#flash says:

      very well said, Rip city should have taken good care of their players, sad to see Brandon Roy’s career ended like that, we know injuries will come but look at SUNS training personnel, they gave Grant Hill some good last years…. GOOD to see you back G.O!!!!!! keep them knees healthy man. and for you B-baller just SHHHHHHHHH

      • Dieter says:

        Do you guys really think Roy and Oden’s injuries are Portland’s fault? C’mon !!! They had alot of patience… can’t blame the Blazers for anything. I hope Oden will have a bright future, but I really don’t believe he’s the answer for Hibbert in the playoffs this season.

        It would be cool though to see a finals between the Heat and the Blazers, Lillard and Matthews dominating, Batum trying to hold off James, a battle between Bosh and Aldridge, and Oden against Lopez, while Mo Williams undo’s all Lebron’s plusses when he’s on the field with the backup team. Small chance this is going to be the finals, but I could see Portland beat the Heat in the finals 4-1

  3. Bobby C. says:

    Ccngrats for the comeback. Hardwork pays dividend. He is a force & will be useful when they face the pacers in the playoff. Good Luck GO.

  4. Javier says:

    Even if you’re not a Heat fan (which I am) you gotta be happy for the man. He deserves to contribute in the NBA with all the work he puts in.

  5. theholyspectator says:

    up the middle and around the rim was heats greatest and only weakness…with oden in there, heat are solid now and ready to win the title for sure. i was thinking they may activate him after all star break…but come end of feb thru march he should have a number of games under his belt. hibbert is def not athletic or strong enough to compete with oden. as long as his knees stay good, heat got this. only thing that really is stopping miami heat, is themselves, everyone stay healthy is whats on their mind. they not worried about chasing after home court. playoff time miami can win away or home, dont matter.

  6. bob says:

    he seems much faster than Hibbert!!!!

  7. bob says:

    pacers will be fried !!!!!

  8. Mamerto says:

    I am very happy to see Oden playing and dunking it for the Heat

  9. heat fan says:

    i think kenny is right. bosh sliding to his natural spot is one tough PF.. i think what miami is thinking when they traded joel anthony is to leave some space for andrew bynum if they are interested in him.

  10. NBAfAns says:

    So Nice To See That Oden Is Back In The Court He Can Help Now The Heat. And I Hope They Can Get Free Agent Andrew Bynum It Was A Great Two Big Man In Heat. So They Can Beat Indiana Pacers In The East Playoffs With Roy Hibbert And Paul George.Good Luck Heat Win The 3rd Championship Ring.

  11. okc2014 says:

    I’m not a Heat Fan either (by the way, they aren’t playing like champions!), but I like the way they took a chance on Oden, allowed him to transition into the season on the time they felt HE needed, not the TEAM needs. The Heat can afford to do this, being the NBA champions. Best wishes to this guy. He deserves to make a full comeback so we can see his full potential.

  12. dustydreamnz says:

    His rebound and dunk was fierce! Hope he has a good year. He cops a lot of stick but injuries are usually just bad luck.

  13. John Goldman says:

    Coming from a Blazer fan I hope he does well wish we could have kept him but that’s a long time to pay for nothing – don’t get hurt Greg

  14. gnolas22 says:

    ..I wish him the best of luck..

  15. Phil says:

    I’m a Celtic guy, but it’s super good to see Greg back out there! And B-Baller; you guys were calling him a bum 18 months ago so you don’t get an opinion. He’s put in major work to get back & it’s inspiring!

  16. B-Baller says:

    7 years and 83 games. As a portland guy, I don’t even know what to feel about this guy. Figures that he will finally produce now that hes no longer a Blazer, but I guess I wish him the best.

  17. J4CK Nicholson says:

    I just hope that everything goes well for him. Not a Heat fan but I’m happy that he’s back and playing again. Hopefully there’s more to come and will retire on his terms, not injuries.

  18. jdub455 says:

    Bout time! Come playoff time, heat will b ready, homecourt adv or not…

  19. mee(a)t says:

    It was nice seeing him battle gortat, grabbing boards, monstrous dunks, something the heat need.