Lamar gone MIA? How the Lakers find Odom
These have been forgettable games for Lamar Odom, a sixth man gone asunder in the most important series of the season.
The Lakers aren’t playing Phoenix any longer, as Odom could definitely attest, the 14 points and 11.8 rebounds he averaged in the Western Conference finals apparently a thing of the past now that the Lakers are playing Boston in the NBA Finals.
Odom had a five-point, five-foul debacle in Game 1 that somehow got worse Sunday in Game 2, when he finished with three points and five fouls in the Lakers’ 103-94 loss.
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He is the Los Angeles Lakers’ barometer.
When Lamar Odom has his A-game, the Lakers are unbeatable. No other team can bring a versatile, play all five positions type off the bench?
But Odom is somewhat of an enigma. Most of the time, he’s brilliant. Some of the time, he disappears.
For instance, former coach and ABC broadcaster Jeff Van Gundy often calls the four-man a top thirty player in the NBA.
At times, such praise is warranted. Last year, he was brilliant as a sixth man for the purple-and-gold. And years ago, he looked like the second coming of Magic Johnson when he led an upstart Miami Heat squad to the second round.
Odom’s reputation for going MIA prompted Phoenix Suns star Amar’e Stoudemire to call his 19 point, 19 rebound performance in game one of the Western Conference Finals ‘lucky’.
Unfortunately Odom has vanished through the first two games of the NBA Finals (he’s averaging a sub par 4 points and 4 rebounds). This doesn’t bode well for the Lakers, so here’s how Coach Jackson fixes the situation:
1) Go to Odom early and often. The coaches must put him in the game no later than half way through the first quarter.
2) Get him involved. Derek Fisher or Kobe Bryant, the veteran leaders, should call a play or two for him in the half court set.
3) ‘Run, Lamar, Run’. Odom needs to use his length and athleticism to score easy points in transition.
4) Get on the glass. Odom is at his best when grabbing rebounds. The other parts of his game follows suit.
Got thoughts on how the Lakers get Odom going?