Should Greg Oden Be a Sixth Man?

by December 29, 2008

by Marcel Mutoni

For reasons only known to him, the undeniably awesome John Canzano went on an endless rant this weekend about Greg Oden being a starter in Portland. Oden, the top pick in the 2007 draft, is having himself a decent season on a winning team thus far, but according to the fiery columnist, he should be coming off the bench.

Portland’s starter at the center position should apparently be Joel “Ghostface” Przybilla. And the reason this isn’t so, according to Canzano anyway, is because management wants their prized rookie to be a starter. From The Oregonian:

Oden has been handed his starting position, he’s been babied, and is held to a different set of standards than the rest of the team. This isn’t the blueprint for raising a hard-nosed player. He uses Paul Allen’s private bedroom on the team jet, a luxury afforded to no other player.

I’m not ready to say he’s a bust. He’s not. But it’s time to go to Przybilla. Oden is a long way from reaching the age at which we can make a sound judgment, but moving him to the bench is looooong overdue. And he’s the only player on the roster being handed anything, which makes me wonder if the directive is coming from up the management chain.

Oden, for his part, says he agrees with the assessment that Przybilla is playing better than him, and should therefore be starting. Thing is, though, unless Oden goes down with an injury again, there’s no way he’s being taken out of the starting lineup. That’s not favoritism from the front-office; it’s common sense.

No one is watching the Blazers play to see how Joel is doing, and with the two bigs’ production being similar, it only makes sense to give the guy who you’re counting on for the future the brunt of the minutes available. Perhaps Paul Allen could let Canzano snooze in his private chambers from time to time to calm him down.