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Greg Oden Back: Thoughts on the NBA for 1/16/14

  • Last night was an awesome one across the Association, and we have lots to talk about, but we have to start with the return of Greg Oden. After over four years, Oden suited up for a regular season game last night as the Heat took on the Wizards. Almost immediately after checking in, he threw down a powerful dunk, and it was official: Greg Oden back. He finished with 6 points and 2 rebounds on the night in 8 minutes of action. It’s always cool when guys return from injury, but this was a special case. Four years is a long, long time to not play professional basketball. With all the injuries and off-the-court issues Oden had to deal with, it was just awesome to see him back out there. And from the look on his face, he as pretty pleased as well. (H/T to Yahoo Sports for the .gif)

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  • Staying with that Heat-Wizards game, LeBron and Wade connected for a full court alley-oop last night, and it was awesome. (H/T to @CoupNBA)

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  • The Celtics got their first win of 2014 last night, defeating the Raptors by a score of 88-83. Jared Sullinger had a monster game, dropping 25 points and grabbing 20 rebounds to lead the team in Jordan Crawford’s absence. Sullinger has been pretty impressive this year – especially in terms of rebounding, which he does extremely well for an undersized big man.

 

  • Speaking of Jordan Crawford, Steezus was unfortunately traded from the Celtics. Although he was with the Celtics for less than a full calendar year, the legend of Steezus will live on in Boston for eternity. #SteezusForever.

 

  • There were plenty of awesome games out West last night, including the Mavericks-Clippers matchup. J.J. Redick lead the way for the Clips, scoring 33 points as they came back from nine down with just over three minutes to go to snatch a 129-127 win. The Clippers are now 4-1 without Chris Paul, who is expected to be out for at least another month. Check out the final few minutes below.

 

  • While the Celtics were able to snap their long losing streak, the Magic were not able to join them. Orlando came extremely close however, falling to the Bulls in triple overtime in a wild game. Victor Oladipo scored a career-high 35 points in 57 (!) minutes of action, while Jameer Nelson added 31 points (on 30 shots!) and 10 assists. On the other side, Joakim Noah lead the way, scoring 26 points and grabbing 19 rebounds. Jimmy Butler, meanwhile, played 60 (!!!) minutes, finishing with 21 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists. There were multiple big shots and several wild celebrations in this one.

 

  • The Bucks were also not able to pick up a win last night, and remain winless in 2014. Their current losing streak is now at seven games, and their record sits at 7-31. At this point, they look to be clear favorites to have the worst record in the league, and therefore the best odds at winning the lottery. Even though they lost again, there was this connection between Giannis Antetokounmpo and Larry Sanders that was pretty cool.

 

 

  • There were a lot more great moments last night, but I have to run to class, so I will leave you with this dunk, courtesy of Tony Wroten. (H/T J.E. Skeets.)

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jmaloney