Remember all the debate
over whether the Trail Blazers should pick Kevin Durant or Greg Oden with the first pick of the 2007 draft.
Well, tonight Durant and Oden face each other for the first time
as pros when the Trail Blazers go to Oklahoma City to play the Thunder. (For any non-sports fans who have wandered over here, Oden and Durant play different positions so they're unlikely to actually guard each other.)
When people consider that Oden missed all of last season and has had an up-and-down year
this season, compared to Durant's stat-rich year,
many say Durant would have been the better pick.
And highlights like this make it hard to disagree.
And yet I do for two reasons.
1) On a team with Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge and Rudy Fernandez, Oden will never need to put up big offensive numbers. He does obviously have to learn to stay out of foul trouble and develop a move or two in the low post. I think both should come this offseason.
2) Putting up big numbers like Durant is doing is not that unique a feat in the NBA when you're on a crappy team like Oklahoma City. This isn't to dump on Durant, who's obviously a big-time scorer. It's just that a lot of big-time scorers (think Tracy McGrady or Vince Carter) never win jack.