By Ben Golliver
January 21, 2014

Heat center Greg Oden blocked Celtics forward Jeff Green at the rim during Miami's 93-86 home victory on Tuesday.

The oft-injured big man made his long-anticipated debut for the Heat last week, playing in his first regular season game since Dec. 5, 2009. It didn't take long for Oden to generate his first highlight, as he dunked on his first possession.

On Tuesday, Oden made his home debut, and he treated the Miami crowd to his first big-time defensive highlight of the season, stymieing Green at the rim. With a little more than two minutes remaining before halftime and the Heat leading 42-35, Green drove baseline against LeBron James. Matched up against Jared Sullinger on the right block, Oden saw the drive develop with plenty of time to come across the paint and position himself for a contesting effort.

Green has produced plenty of poster dunks -- including this one on Magic forward Jason Maxiell in November -- and he took off from outside the protected circle with a fairly ambitious effort. Oden rose to contest the shot with his right hand, deflecting the ball as Green tried to power through to finish the play. The block led to a 24-second violation on the Celtics, as the ball never hit the rim, and the Heat claimed possession.

(Sun Sports) Heat center Greg Oden blocks Celtics forward Jeff Green. (Sun Sports)

The block marked the first of Oden's season and his first since Dec. 1, 2009. The seven-foot center averaged more than two blocks per game for the Blazers during the 2009-10 season before a knee injury abruptly ended his season. During his one-and-done season at Ohio State, the 2007 No. 1 overall pick led the Big 10 with 3.3 blocks per game.

It goes without saying that Miami can use all the interior help that Oden is capable of providing. Miami currently ranks No. 27 in rebound rate, and their defensive efficiency ranking has dropped to No. 10, the lowest mark of the "Big 3" era.

Oden finished with two points (on 1-for-3 shooting), one rebound and one block in six minutes. LeBron James led the Heat with a game-high 29 points (on 10-for-19 shooting), eight rebounds and four assists.

Brandon Bass led the Celtics with 15 points (on 5-for-7 shooting) and three rebounds. Kris Humphries added 14 points (on 7-for-10 shooting) and 13 rebounds.

Miami improved to 30-12 with the win. Boston dropped to 14-29 with the loss.

Video via YouTube user frank den

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