The Miami Heat are currently preparing to take on the Indiana Pacers in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals but they won’t be playing until Saturday. However, while LeBron, Wade and others have to wait until Saturday to get back into the action, it appears that Greg Oden is going to have to wait much longer.
After fighting injuries all season long, it looks lie Oden will continue to sit on the Heat bench for the rest of the Eastern Conference Finals, as despite having ample time and opportunity to play him, the Heat have refused. As Ira Winderman from the Sun-Sentinel points out, Oden has said he can play but Erik Spoelstra has continuously said no to the point where there are no meaningful minutes left in the series for Oden.
I can’t fathom that after being away from the team so long that Greg Oden could possibly work his way into minutes in this series, considering the stakes. The issue supposedly now is back spasms, but even Oden said he could have played in the series’ opening games if summoned.
This isn’t a concrete report, but it also doesn’t take a genius to realize that the Heat have no intentions of playing Oden in this series. If they did, they’d be running too great a risk that he’ll mess something up and if there’s a team that knows about one player throwing off chemistry, it’s the Heat’s opponents in the Indiana Pacers.
The last thing Miami needs is to give the Pacers any sort of a chance in this series and keeping Oden on the bench also keeps those extra chances for the Pacers at bay. It’s all a bit ironic considering Oden was signed for this series, but he may provide help in the Finals as that seems to be the next time he’ll be allowed to play.