Sunday , Sep , 21 , 2008 Oly Sandor

Lamar Odom as Sixth-Man gives L.A. Lakers best shot at NBA Title

Enter the sixth man role. Odom can check-in and do whatever is needed. He can be assertive like with Miami. He can facilitate from the point-forward spot. Or he can dominate the boards with his lanky arms. But instead of being underused as a starter, he becomes the best player on an excellent second-unit …

Lamar Odom as Sixth-Man gives L.A. Lakers best shot at NBA Title

NBA news mixed with analysis …

Their news: Odom has discussed with the basketball staff the possibility of accepting a sixth-man role, which has all sorts of delightful possibilities to it, due to the 6-foot-10 Odom’s versatility.

He could come off the bench to play small forward or play the two position (shooting guard) or power forward. The Lakers’ staff even has discussed with Odom the possibility of him being a hybrid point forward and initiating the offense in that role.” (Orange Country Register, linked on HoopsVibe News Section).

Our Quick Analysis: Moving to the bench would have a positive influence on Lamar Odom and the Lakers. The southpaw suits the sixth man role perfectly.

L.A. is now built around three players: superstar Kobe Bryant, super-Spaniard Pau Gasol, and super-center Andrew Bynum. Odom, after years as second banana to Bryant, sometimes got lost as the third option last season and could struggle as the number four.

Enter the sixth man role. Odom can check-in and do whatever is needed. He can be assertive like with Miami. He can facilitate from the point-forward spot. Or he can dominate the boards with his lanky arms. But instead of being underused as a starter, he becomes the best player on an excellent second-unit.

Opponents would have to adjust their game plan to Odom’s new role. For example, teams try changing their line-up to slow San Antonio’s top reserve Manu Ginobili. They fail. And the Argentine still goes off and opponents, by adjusting, are off balance all night. Odom as sixth man would have the same impact.

Trevor Ariza is the likely choice to replace Odom in the first-five. The 6-8, 215 pound wing would inherit the stopper role from Bryant and allow the superstar to conserve energy on defense. And with Ariza starting, the Lakers are nastier than Janet Jackson on defense.  

Odom as super-sub makes sense. The move would energize the talented three-man, give the Lakers a gunner off the bench, and unleash Ariza as a lockdown defender. Bottom line, L.A. would be closer to winning the 2008-09 NBA Title.

Starter or sixth man? What is Odom’s role in 2008-09? Get at us in the comment box below and return to HoopsVibe The Blog for more news and analysis. Photo courtesy of jcarmonanavas.