Monday Morning Point Guard

The first week of the NBA season is behind us, and it got off with a bang -- or better yet a sprain -- as Greg Oden's much-anticipated debut against the Los Angeles Lakers lasted all of 13 minutes after the Portland Trail Blazers' No. 1 overall pick in 2007 sprained his right foot. The injury will force him to miss two to four weeks. Bummer.

With Oden already missing all of last season with a knee injury, folks in Portland are understandably panicking, with memories of some other big men with bad luck (Sam Bowie and Bill Walton). This isn't to say that Oden won't be injury prone throughout his career -- he very well could be -- but there have been other big men who battled injuries early in their career to bounce back and be extremely productive. Cleveland's Zydrunas Ilguaskas is a modern example, he missed 217 of 328 games his first four seasons with foot problems. But people tend to forget that Patrick Ewing missed 51 games with injuries his first two seasons out of Georgetown. He turned out okay, right?




No, this isn't an old picture from last year. And, no, I'm not Sam Bowie. (Andrew Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)


Elsewhere in the league, the Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans Hornets picked up where they left off last season. The Houston Rockets started off the Ron Artest era in style, and Chris Bosh has the Toronto Raptors looking pretty good. The defending champion Celtics got their rings, then won two games before losing in Indiana on Saturday.

On the flip side, the Golden State Warriors are dealing with all forms of controversy -- from Monta Ellis's suspicious ankle injury and suspension and Al Harrington's trade demand. The New York Knicks have a new coach, but Stephon Marbury still overshadows everything. And, the Los Angeles Clippers are, well, being the Clippers. They've already suffered three humiliating losses and lost two starters to injuries.

Chicago kid Derrick Rose is already showcasing his leadership skills, leading his hometown Bulls to two wins. His fellow rookie Michael Beasley had a rough debut in New York, but he came back to show why the Heat drafted him No. 2 overall last summer. Getting wins in Miami might be another story, even with a healthy Dwyane Wade.

In case you haven't noticed, Joe Johnson leads the NBA in scoring at 30 points per game after leading the Hawks to wins over Orlando and Philadelphia (Including their playoff series with Boston, the Hawks have won five of their past seven games). Chris Paul, flaunting his gold medal to the home fans in New Orleans, took the early -- really early -- lead in the MVP race with a starting kickoff to his season.

Also, Roger Mason Jr. is on fire. He's shooting better than 70 percent in his first two games, but the San Antonio Spurs have yet to win. And, after sporting cornrows for the past nine years, Carmelo Anthony apparently got wrapped up in Barack Obama's plea for change and got a haircut, abandoning his trademark look. Centers may or may not be a dying breed in the league, but Allen Iverson appears to be the last prominant player with braided hair holding it down in the NBA.



You ain't funny, Kobe. I didn't lose a bet. I really wanted a haircut. (Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)


The First Week Awards will come shortly. . .

By Michael Lee |  November 3, 2008; 9:15 AM ET MMPG: Week 1
Previous: Rotation Situation | Next: Monday Morning Point Guard: Team Of The Week (Updated)

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It's great to see Pop unleash Roger Mason. More power to Roger, except when they play the Wiz!

Posted by: rickgonz | November 3, 2008 11:46 AM

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