Greg Oden continued his season-long redemption on Wednesday, a memorable matchup with Indiana Pacers All-Star Roy Hibbert. Perhaps the sole reason for Oden being signed by Miami, it was the ultimate test to measure his progress this season and project his impact in the playoffs.
The results were not pretty.
Oden’s final stat line: 6 minutes, 2 points (1-of-1 shooting), 1 rebound, 2 blocks and 2 fouls.
During his brief stint against Indiana, Oden looked fatigued, out of place and unable to keep Hibbert from establishing position in the paint and scoring 9 points in that six-minute stretch.
Since that time, G.O. missed two consecutive games (officially listed out due to “back spasms”). But with Heat veteran Udonis Haslem getting an increased workload – and proving effective against Hibbert – the rumor mill is already circulating on Oden’s future.
This little nugget came from Miami Herald reporter Joseph Goodman (via Twitter):
— Joseph Goodman (@JoeGoodmanJr) March 30, 2014
Keep in mind, Goodman was only expressing an opinion, not the Heat’s – or Head Coach Erik Spoelstra’s – stance on the issue. But it certainly does give cause for concern.
Spoelstra has changed lineups around, during the regular and post- seasons, seemingly at will. Just as Haslem’s star is rising, Oden’s performance against the Pacers may have started his descent.