Before anyone thinks me too cold-hearted, my initial reaction to this was not, “Yes. One less good team to compete with!” As a fan of basketball, my first reaction was one of disappointment: Anyone who enjoys to watch basketball is going to miss out this season, as Greg Oden has the potential to be something special in the league. Now, we can only hope that he recovers as well as Amare Stoudemire has from micro-fracture surgery.
With that said and this being a Bobcats' blog, I decided I should give some thought to the ramifications of Oden missing the season. And what have I concluded? Not much impact, but not negligible either. Here's what I did come up with:
1. The Western Conference got slightly weaker. Unfortunately, the Bobcats are in the East, which means they play 2 games against Portland, just like everyone else in the East. Advantage: No one.
2. Portland probably won't sweep us this year. Last season, the Bobcats lost in overtime to the Trailblazers once and got destroyed by 37 the other time, behind 40 points from Zach Randolph. Well, Zach Randolph is now in New York, and the man who was brought in that caused is departure is now out for the season. While LaMarcus Aldridge is still there, Channing Frye (or Joel Przybilla) is a much less intimidating duo than LMA and Oden (or Randolph).
3. New York is going to be tougher this time around. Because Oden was coming in, and Portland did not want him corrupted by Zach Randolph, the Trailblazers basically gave him away to New York, while taking a bad contract off the Knicks' hands as well (if that trade had been made in a fantasy league, it would have been vetoed). So, Zach Randolph and his clone (Eddy Curry) will be patrolling the paint (and buffets) in New York. Considering the Bobcats split with the Knicks last year, and finished with an identical record, it would seem the Bobcats competition for a playoff spot got much more difficult, due to Oden (I know this is a bit round about, but if Portland knew Oden was going to miss the year, I doubt they would have had a fire sale on Zach).