Greg Oden Portland Trail Blazers First Game: 13 Points, 5 Rebounds, 2 Blocks

Sometimes it’s not just a preseason game.

Portland Trail Blazers fans and NBA fans alike have been waiting patiently for Greg Oden to play in the NBA and last night was his first live action. It’s more than just Oden we’ve been wanting a look at, but the entire roster that Kevin Pritchard has so cleverly constructed.

Oden and the Blazers didn’t disappoint. Just ask a 2nd-year center who was drafted nine picks behind the former Oden, Spencer Hawes. The former Washington Husky was abused by Oden early and often, victim of his first dunk and block.

You’ll see in the very first highlight above, Oden takes the entry pass on the right block and simply powers his way over Hawes for his first points. In typical Oden fashion, a dunk. His final line: 13 points, 5 rebounds and 2 blocks in 20 minutes.

Truth be told, Oden may not have had the best “rookie” debut. That belonged to Rudy Fernandez who put on his own show according to Jason Quick of the Oregonian.

Don’t look now, but Oden may have some stiff competition for Rookie of the Year from one of his teammates: Fernandez.

In a simply electric performance, Fernandez had the crowd chanting his first name after a series of flashy plays. He dunked off a lob pass from Rodriguez, a longtime friend and countryman, and then later caught another lob from Rodriguez and in a dipsy-do move, drifted under the basket and blindly banked it high off the backboard.

And there was more. Fernandez threaded a pass through the legs of Jason Thompson that Aldridge converted, and later made a sharp bounce pass in traffic that Aldridge dunked. He also lobbed a pass that Martell Webster dunked, putting the finishing touches on a six-point, five-assist night.

Whether I’m allowed or not, I’m going to be a bandwagon jumper to this Blazers run. Even in this despairing stock market, Portland is a must buy.

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