With Andrew Bynum's knee getting more painful and swollen by the second, a panicky Lakers nation turns its eyes to Lamar Odom. Is Mr. Kardashian up for the challenge?
“I’m not going to put it on my shoulders to win or lose the game,”
Odom said. “We have to play together as a team.”
This is Lamar Odom in full. The personality that happily allows him
to defer to others and at times makes him the ultimate third or fourth
option is the same one that prevents him from assuming the pressure of
stepping into an expanded set of responsibilities.
He’s always had the talent to be one of the elite players in the
game. He just never had the desire to take the job.
“We have to make up for his size and shot-blocking ability and the
way he protects the rim,” Odom said of Bynum. “We have to realize as a
team what he gives us and what Lamar gives us. As a team we have to
rebound better. We gave [rebounds] up as a team. We have to box out as a
Wait, there’s more.
“It’s always team defense … we have to move the ball as a team … we
do everything as a team … as a team we have to figure out what Andrew
gave us and what we’re going to miss.”
Odom isn’t wrong. The game is won as a team. But the fact he wasn’t
vocalizing an aggressive, ready-for-the-challenge mentality is
that would really be a stimulus. What do you suggest? No, we're just
trying to find a comfort spot for him out there. He looked uncomfortable
[in Game 4], and he had a couple double whammies go against him;
Garnett out there for a while and then he had Davis coming at him, and
things kind of snowballed on him."