Greg Oden’s rehab is going wonderfully, apparently. The center has earned more and more playing time as the season has gone on, and even has a couple of starts under his belt.
They won’t be the last, according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Oden’s move into the Miami Heat’s starting lineup is more than an experiment. Coach Erik Spoelstra said Tuesday he plans to move forward with the alignment that had Oden with the first team Sunday against the Houston Rockets and then again Tuesday against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Oden’s start helped the Heat snap a two-game skid that resulted in a very important win. Spoelstra told Winderman that he does not want to “pigeonhole” the team into being an exclusively small-ball squad.
This is a good move by the Heat. Even if Oden, rather than Shane Battier or any other lineup, isn’t the best option, it’s worth finding out now.
I don’t think he played particularly well against the Rockets, but Chris Bosh was freed up after he got used to not starting in the middle and Dwyane Wade took advantage of Oden blocking off Dwight Howard in the lane early on.
The only one I thought struggled with Oden on the floor was LeBron James, who couldn’t decide whether or not to drive or shoot. We’ll see if LeBron gets used to Oden’s presence on the floor Tuesday night.
Let’s see how it goes.
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