|Oden makes strong preseason debut for Blazers|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 07 October 2008 21:18|
Oden dunked two minutes into a 110-81 exhibition victory over the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night. He finished the preseason opener with 13 points in just under 20 minutes.
``It kind of loosens me up, and gets me started on the right note,'' he said.
Oden was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 draft, but his rookie season was postponed when he needed microfracture on his right knee. He was held out all of last season.
Except for two summer league games after he was drafted, Oden hasn't played much since he averaged 15.7 points and 9.6 rebounds in his lone season at Ohio State. He led the Buckeyes to the national championship game, scoring 25 points and grabbing 12 rebounds in the loss to Florida.
He said he had no problem adjusting.
``The guys told me, especially Joel (Przybilla), just to take a deep breath and go out there and play basketball, that's all it is,'' Oden said.
Oden won the opening jump over Sacramento's Mikki Moore and his dunk was Portland's first basket.
-sellout crowd with another couple of dunks in the second quarter. Fans booed when he was called for a foul. One youngster held a sign that read: ``Welcome to the show No. 52.''
``I'm not as good as I was but I'm going to get there,'' Oden vowed.
Both teams gave their reserves plenty of work, as usual in the preseason, but also because of injuries.
The Kings, who traded veteran Ron Artest to Houston in August, were without Kevin Martin, who has tendinitis in his right quadriceps, and Brad Miller, who strained his right quadriceps on Friday.
The Blazers were without point guard Steve Blake, who has a sore left hamstring.
Brandon Roy, who had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in August, played a little more than 23 minutes and had 14 points and seven assists for the Blazers. Martell Webster led Portland with 15 points.
Donte Greene, acquired from Houston in the Artest deal, had 18 points and Francisco Garcia added 12 for the Kings, who led by as many as 11 points in the first half before the Blazers seized control.
``First half we made some mistakes down the stretch. But in the second half is really when they blew it open, especially in transition and points in the paint, and that's something we're going to have to focus on,'' Kings second-year center Spencer Hawes said.
seven seasons for DKV Joventut Badelona of the Spanish ACB League.
Fernandez, who played on the Spanish Olympic team that lost to the United States in the gold medal game in Beijing, was flashy offensively and effective defensively in his first NBA game.
Fernandez made three particular passes to Webster late in the game that resulted in dunks, and brought cheers of ``Rudy!'' from the crowd.