Eastern Notes: Oden, Caldwell-Pope, Celtics, Gordon

Greg Oden has yet to see any preseason action for the Heat, but the 25-year-old former No. 1 pick told HoopsWorld’s Moke Hamilton his primary goal when he returns to the hardwood  is, “To walk on the court and play however many minutes…and to walk off healthy.”

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra says Oden’s “been great,” before adding that his journey from top of the 2007 Draft to the Heat isn’t easily relatable:

He’s been through a lot; it’s tough for anybody to really relate, to have something you love taken away from you for multiple years, something you can’t control. So, we’re just trying to help him through the process until he can get back on the court.”

Here are some notes from around the Eastern Conference on a slow Saturday night:

  • Pistons Rookie Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has struggled with his shot in preseason action, but Vincent Ellis of the Detroit Free-Press tweets that Chauncey Billups believes KCP can be a lockdown defender in the vein of Tony Allen.
  • Billups tells Keith Langlois of Pistons.com, via Twitter, that he’s been watching tape with  Caldwell-Pope and fellow Pistons rookie Peyton Siva.
  • Billups tells Langlois that KCP is a good shooter, but “good shooters take good shots” (Twitter). Billups adds that all KCP has proven is he won’t lose his confidence, but that he’s young, too. (Twitter).
  • Thanks to a scheduling quirk, the Celtics have played 6 preseason games in 9 days, and only have 2 games remaining before their October 30th opener in Toronto. Coach Brad Stevens, a first-time NBA coach after coming over from Butler, tells Celtics.com’s Marc D’Amico he doesn’t know if Sunday’s preseason game against the ‘Wolves in Montreal will be a dress rehearsal for his regular season rotation, or more tinkering with the minutes.
  • Bobcats guard Ben Gordon will miss the rest of the preseason after a procedure on one of his knees to relieve soreness, writes Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer. Bonnell adds, via Twitter, that coach Steve Clifford will play Ramon Sessions at shooting guard and give Jannero Pargo more run at the point in Gordon’s absence.

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