Initially it didn’t look like Greg Oden would get any playing time during the Eastern Conference finals, but after Friday’s practice, Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said that Oden could be available for Saturday’s Game 3, according to FoxSports.com.
Oden has been out of the lineup with ongoing back problems, and hasn’t played since Miami’s final regular season game.
”He’s had a great week of work,” Spoelstra said. ”We’ll find out tomorrow.”
One of the big reasons the Heat signed the 7-foot Oden was to have a viable matchup against Pacers center Roy Hibbert, which simply hasn’t materialized, even in the regular season.
A hobbled Oden is of little good to the Heat, and it doesn’t seem likely that he’d have any better luck against Hibbert than Chris Anderson or Udonis Haslem. If Oden gets any minutes at all, it would strictly be as a fill-in if there is foul trouble from the starters.
Oden is apparently taking it all in stride.
”If I don’t play and we win, I’m just as happy,” Oden said. ”I know they brought me here to be a big body, another big opponent to help stop Roy, but U.D., C.B. and Bird have been doing a good job.