Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra says Greg Oden is getting stronger

Greg Oden is a very easy person to root for.

Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said Wednesday that center Greg Oden continues to strengthen his knees.

The 25-year-old Oden, who signed a one-year deal with the Heat in August, isn’t expected to premier until roughly February.

After the Heat used the amnesty provision on Mike Miller, the 7-foot, 285 pound Oden chose Miami over the Spurs, Kings, Mavs and Pelicans.

Capturing consecutive Larry O’Brien Championship Trophies in June, the Heat will eventually benefit from Oden’s size, physicality and interior defense.

More importantly, on a squad of stars, Oden won’t face brutal Heat or overwhelming pressure in Miami.

The former Buckeye, a recovering alcoholic whose shot joints make him less sturdy than Ozzy Osbourne on Bushmills, hasn’t competed in the association in 1,461 days.

Capable of being a powerful force in the paint, Oden averaged 9.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks over 82 games as a Portland Trail Blazer.

Unfortunately, the mammoth enforcer has walked like Keyser Söze since the George W. Bush Administration.

Oden is primarily practicing without contact and the organization hasn’t established a timetable for his return.

Thankfully, sitting atop the Southeast Division with a record of 16-6, Miami doesn’t urgently need Oden.

Regardless, a solid gamble with zero drawbacks, the likable Greg Oden could help the Heat burn opponents in the playoffs.

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