Thursday, June 21, 2007

Thursday Debate: Would you take Greg Oden or Kevin Durant?

I've got a little feature on here called the Thursday Debate... today, let's look at who you would rather have on your team, Greg Oden or Kevin Durant?

This is the question that has been on everyone's mind for quite a while, and an issue I even looked at more than 4 months ago. I compared Oden to Alonzo Mourning and Durant to Dirk Nowitzki, but neither of those accurately sums up these guys' games.

With Kevin Durant, you have one of the most versatile offensive weapons ever to come into the NBA. That's not even exaggerating. He has a great touch from the outside, and with his height can get the ball off against almost any defense. He also has a quick first step and can get to the basket and finish. If that's not enough, he's also got a developing postup game in case you try to guard him with someone smaller.

But he's got a lot more to his game than just his scoring ability. He's unselfish with the ball. He's got great instincts and solid athleticism, which allowed to be in the top 5 in rebounds per game as a freshman. He also has long arms, which can make him a defensive force as that part of his game matures. He is a complete player, and can do things offensively we haven't seen before in one player.

Oden is the opposite. His defensive game is farther along than his offensive game, and his offensive ceiling is probably a little lower. But defensively he shines. I think that once he gets drafted he will immediately become one of the top 5 defensive centers in the NBA. He is extremely athletic, quick, and has great shotblocking instincts. I really think he compares to a Bill Russell or Dikembe Mutombo as far as his defensive ability.

Offensively, he is definitely coming along, as we saw in the title game against Florida. It's very clear he wasn't at 100% all year long, and has been mentioned, I think this will help in the long run. He has become very adept with the left hand and showed he can finish with the right as well. He is raw on the post, but showed the quickness and athleticism that makes me think he can be an elite offensive center as well.

There is no doubt that these are both special players... barring injury, I can't see either of them disappointing or being busts. In my mind, Oden will be a 20-25 PPG scorer and one of the best defensive centers ever. I think Durant will be a 25-30 PPG scorer and eventually be a very good defensive player as well. If I had the choice, I still think I would take Greg Oden, because I think his defense just makes him a little more valuable.

But who would you take?


Who would you rather have on your team?
Greg Oden
Kevin Durant
  

15 comments:

Larry Brown said...

You can't go wrong with either, but I'd go Oden if pressed.

Luke said...

I'd take Durant for the following reasons, however logical they may be.

-Oden seemed to have motivational problems. He'd disappear for minutes at a time, and at times his team even played better without him on the floor. Surely, his defense looks like it will be very good, but if he doesn't develop a shot outside of that baby jumphook (which he won't get away with nearly as much in the NBA), I see him developing into a Ben Wallace-type, scoring upwards of 15 PPG, with a mean defensive presence.

-Durant's ceiling, IMO, is much higher. He's more athletic and is more suited to the way the NBA is progressing. He can shoot, drive, and with a little coaching I bet his defense will improve. I think if Texas had a halfway decent coach they would have made it much further in the NCAA tourney last year.

Signal to Noise said...

Same as Larry. Give me Oden if pressed. Defense matters more and more (please see this year's NBA Finals) these days, and Oden's offensive game can grow, while he's an instant defensive force.

Anonymous said...

thats a tough one because the nba right now is devoid of quality big men all the big men want to be dirk instead of shaq so that makes it hard to pass on oden in the draft because other than yao and shaq not really anyother centers in the leauge that can do anything other than take up space but durant is such a gifted player he can shoot from the parking lot and can dunk on you inside, can block shots , needs to bulk up but so does oden your not gonna get it done with the bill russell build these days but i guess it just comes down to what you need good thing detroit didnt get the first pick they would have took hawes over both...lol but i think if i was portland being that i just took aldrige i would take durant skills like that dont come around everyday if the do that though i wonder where does seattle go with their pick being that they've picked lame centers that they probablly couldnt move at a yard sale

Mini Me said...

Gotta take Oden. Durant is the safest bet, but how many quality big men really come along?

The Big Picture said...

there are a lot of guys with durant's skill set. i think oden is higher risk, but also a higher reward.

grittysquirrels said...

I'm an oden guy too. However, I guess the blazers were just obsessing over durant's workout so who knows. I would be content with either player really but Oden is a once in a lifetime kind of prospect.

jeremy said...

gotta pick Oden first. No question

Kevin Hayward said...

Kevin Durant is working out for the Sonics tomorrow and I get to cover it for the Olympian. I'm stoked!

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