With the news of Channing Frye looking to be out until at least early November, minutes b..."/> With the news of Channing Frye looking to be out until at least early November, minutes b..."/> With the news of Channing Frye looking to be out until at least early November, minutes b..."/>

Ike’s Big Chance

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With the news of Channing Frye looking to be out until at least early November, minutes backing up LMA are up for grabs. Nate could very well slot Travis Outlaw in there, but more than likely this is a big chance for Ike Diogu to step up and steal those minutes. And if he lives up to his game, he could make Mr. Frye less weird and more expendable.

There is no questioning that Ike Diogu is talented. There are plenty who think he’s worthless and was a bookend in the this trade, but I wouldn’t count on their opinion too much. They just need to see him at work. If he wasn’t than he wouldn’t have dominated the Pac-10 for three years. If you think Leon Powe was good, you should have seen what Ike was doing, leading the conference in boards and scoring. He wouldn’t have been dubbed “the gem” of a trade by Larry Legend. If you just look at his stats, I’m sure he looks like a bum. Dig deeper. Realize his rookie year he dropped 27, shooting 13/15 from the field on the then uber-dominant Detroit Pistons. He’s the type of player who can get 10 points in 13 minutes. The main problem with Ike in the NBA has been his health. He’s probably a few notches under Luke Jackson when it comes to that kind of luck. He has struggled to stay healthy and build on any consistency. I mean last year he was right in that Indiana rotation until injuries took him out of it. Such issues will lead to people still believing in you based on potential in your fourth year.

Now Mike Barrett on his blog said that Diogu “…hasn’t yet shown the ability to be a force inside like he was in college” but then goes on to say that Ike “has shown a powerful inside game in these workouts”. I wouldn’t go that far to say he hasn’t shown the ability to be a force. Inconsistency? Yes….but he’s a beast. There aren’t too many who are going to be able to stop him. Right now I’d even say he’s the Blazers best option operating in the low-block. Now what he’s going to have to prove that he can do consistenly is hit that mid-range jumper. If he can do that then there’s no reason why Ike Diogu shouldn’t be a major part of the Blazers future. The best part about it is he’s hungry, almost bitter about how everything has taken place so far. There’s a chip on that shoulder of his. He will produce when given minutes. Offensively he’s a problem, and to have him in that second unit could cause nightmares for opponents. Could you imagine Bayless, Rudy, Outlaw, Ike and Big Joel off the bench? Big Joel would probably get in foul trouble off the bat trying to help everyone on defense but still. And yes…the biggest knock on Ike is his defense and it’s pretty well-deserved. It’s not that he’s absolutely poor, he can just get in foul trouble. After Joel and Oden, our post defense gets shaky like a salt shaker.

The biggest question when Ike was acquired by the Blazers was not ‘what can he do?’ but moreso ‘when will he play?’ Thanks to Channing’s unfortunate injury, that question should be answered. At the very least both Nate and the fans will at least get to form their own opinions on Ike as he finally gets that chance to play. Instead of rotting at the end of the bench with Batum.

Will Blazer fans love Ike? Only time will tell.