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HOOPSWORLD: When the Los Angeles Lakers host the Minnesota Timberwolves Friday night, Lamar Odom is expected to make his debut after sitting out the first four games of the season.
Without him the Lakers have played relatively well. They challenged (and lost) to a talented Houston Rockets club in LA. On back-to-back nights they were impressive, beating the Suns in Phoenix and the Utah Jazz at STAPLES Center.
Just when critics started to take them seriously, they lost a home game to the red-hot New Orleans Hornets.
That leaves the Lakers at 2-2 overall but just 1-2 at home.
The 0-3 Timberwolves are the ideal opponent for LA to work their second-best player back into the rotation. Sidelined after shoulder surgery, Odom is one of the most versatile forwards in the league.
They’ll certainly need Odom on the brief visit to Texas next week playing the San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets on back-to-back nights.
Coach Phil Jackson has remained coy about exactly who Odom will bump to the bench.
When Odom first joined the Lakers he played power forward under Rudy Tomjanovich and Frank Hamblen. The next summer LA traded for Kwame Brown with the notion Odom would play small forward, Brown the four and Chris Mihm starting at center.