Just fast forward to the 2:03 mark, when Greg Oden faces up just below the left elbow and takes a quick, confident jumper that drops softly through the net. I’ve watched it about 20 times at this point and my thoughts are, well, his shot actually looks pretty decent. Much better arc than he had last season (he did hit one, just one, jumper last season), and none of that wonky, behind the head release you often see from centers. Like his hook shots, Oden’s jumper still starts a little too low for my taste, but he set his feet square to the bucket and, one this one shot, had good enough follow through with his wrist and forearm that it looked like the ball had reasonable backspin on it.
It’s not a shot he’s going to be taking fairly often, but it’s going to give him much better angles and space to work with on the blocks if he proves he can hit the shot consistently enough (Can he Duncan-flavor bank it? That would be exciting). Again, it’s just one jumper, but it’s a good, if small, start (more fundamentally sound than seven-footers tend to have, but a far cry from say, Yao’s sweet shot) and just another reason to be excited about the big fella, if you weren’t already (why weren’t you?).