WDN: In fact, Jackson took the time to point out that Odom's responsibilities have increased during training camp, which explains his subpar statistics in exhibition losses Tuesday to the Utah Jazz and Thursday to the Clippers.
Jackson has been trying out Odom as his point guard during training camp as part of his tinkering with the starting lineup. Jackson also has played Odom as a small forward.
"I just think he's finding his way, getting accustomed to playing ball again," Jackson said of Odom. "It's a different role for him. That's what is difficult for him right now. At times he's a ballhandler, at times he's running with the big guys.
"So he's got a couple of different roles."
Asked what he hopes to see from Odom from now until the Lakers open the regular season against the Portland Trail Blazers on Oct. 28, Jackson said: "Just to be a positive influence on the floor. It doesn't mean he has to score. It means he rebounds. He fills gaps that we have to do."
PE: I wrote a notebook for this morning's paper on Phil Jackson challenging the Lakers to improve defensively in practice Friday. One other thing I found interesting was Phil Jackson's response to questions about Lamar Odom's sluggish start to the season.
Whereas Jackson and Odom have been trading barbs throughout training camp , the Lakers coach has seemed to take a softer tact toward Odom the past two days. Asked why Odom is struggling, Jackson said the multiple roles have been difficult for him.
I just think he's finding his way and getting accustomed to playing ball again," Jackson said. "That's one of the things that is difficult for him now. At times he's a ball handler and at times he's in the post as a big guy. He's got a couple different roles right now."