Seems like an interesting experiment.

O.C. Register: Even after Andrew Bynum gets healthy again, Lamar Odom might supplant him in the Lakers’ starting lineup going forward.

That, however, would be one risky shakeup for a team already on track to win it all.

Phil Jackson acknowledged late Wednesday night that his trusted assistants are already lobbying him to make the change to start Odom over Bynum – and he’s going to contemplate it when the Lakers reconvene after the All-Star break.

“My coaches are kind of pushing me in that direction, but I’m not ready yet to do that,” Jackson said. “We won last year with Andrew when he came back at the end of the season, going out there and playing the first quarter and starting the games. Even though he wasn’t 100 percent when came back off his injury last year, he still gave us a lot; he gives us a big front. So I have to measure that and see what’s going to happen with this team in the next couple weeks.”

That revelation is yet another flare in the air for young Bynum to understand that his progress needs to be more consistent, particularly on defense. It is also a testament to Odom’s clear progress as one of Jackson’s most challenging long-term player-development projects, even if Odom never will become the Scottie Pippen of everyone’s dreams.

See, the way things shake out in Jackson’s brilliant-Zenmaster or mumbo-jumbo world is that when you stop sweating individual glory, it winds up finding you.

And a year and a half since Jackson pushed a reluctant, unhappy Odom into a reserve role, Odom no longer cares about that individual status. He even has a sound, stock summation regarding the demotion last season: “I won my first championship coming off the bench.”

So it’s only appropriate in Jackson’s world that the starting job might fall back into Odom’s lap now that he doesn’t necessarily want it.

Continue reading ‘Lakers to explore starting Odom, not Bynum’

  • ckay

    All for it. The Lakers offense is much better when Bynum isn’t clogging the lane next to Pau. Odom is the perfect compliment to Pau and Bynum coming off the bench would equal a scary Lakers team.

  • Muslim mamba

    Omg yes!!!!!!!!!!! This is exactly what I have been saying…. This will make our starting 5 more atheletic…. I should just run this team lol jk…. Now all we need to do is get farmar to start over fisher

  • LakersMike31

    I like the idea, but the Laker’s have to be weary about the psyche of Bynum. I think he would consider it a step backwards in his evolution as a player. I mean, first he misses his goal of making the All-Star team, then he may potentially get demoted to the second unit (which, anyway you look at it, is a demotion). I guess it would be a trial-and-error process. I will say this, though: Odom is playing MEAN right now, and I like it! I haven’t seen that guy smile the past three games. He scores on someone, or blocks a shot, or grabs a board, and he has a scowl on his face. Usually, he’s all smiles, slapping high fives, and even smiling when he makes a mistake. I think he’s taking the mission of keeping the Lakers rolling w/out Kobe personal. This version of Odom cannot be stopped. Now couple that with the confidence boost he’s gotten by being selected to Team USA, and this could be a watershed moment for him, if it’s allowed to develop. How crazy is it that our two primary playmakers in Kobe’s absence are our PF and C? That is a MATCHUP NIGHTMARE. What other team in the league runs its offense through a point forward AND point center. The Jazz looked lossed last night.

    • LakersMike31

      BTW, I think it’s important for Kobe to adjust his game to the team when he comes backm, and not the other way around. If anyone thinks that the style of ball being played right now isn’t considerably different, and better, than the one Kobe’s been controlling since the start of the season, you need to take a closer look. The Lakers played like this at the beginning of last season, when they started off 14-0. Teams had no clue how to stop them. Then, as the playoffs approached, Kobe shortened the leashes on his teammates and began to be a bit more selfish, probably b/c he could sniff another title. Well, he started the season this year in “lemme get mine” mode. I truly think he needs to back off and find a rhythm with his team again. They OBVIOUSLY don’t need him to carry the bulk of the load. And they don’t need him to force shots. The Lakers have been getting SO MANY easy shots the past three games because their offense has been so smooth. They need him to fit his skill set into what the team concept is. At this point in his career, I think his biggest asset to this particular team is basketball knowledge and IQ. I really hope to see his scoring average come down to about 20-23 ppg, and see the averages of Artest and Lamar come up. This kind of balance makes this team near unbeatable. Can Kobe’s ego allow this to happen?

      • L.Alaker_show

        i agree couldn’t have said it better

      • bostonSUCKS88

        14-0? that cant be right

        • LakersMike31

          Last season they started 14-0.

          • LakersMike31

            Excuse me, 14-1! They had that weird home loss to Detroit a few games in.

  • Leor_77

    Hmmm…I’m all for it. I say let players fight for their minutes and spots, and let the better player get it.

    At the same time, I think that it would be better if Odom played like this coming off the bench earlier in the season.

  • Lakers 24 7

    Thank you. The offense runs smoother with Odom. Bynum and Pau equal too much clogging up the paint. It’s best to have Bynum come off the bench.

  • LakerFanThinkinReal

    Gasol/Odom combo makes the team faster, more athletic and better defensively. Bynum is still young and needs to continue to learn. O is hungry!! I’ve never been more impressed with his play. Artest plays better with G/O. Farmar is hit or miss; Sasha is just flat and cold; Fish is fish -rest him and use him in key match ups in the playoffs. We need a guard that can defend within the triangle. Keep Farmar and continue to develop the new up and coming star Brown!!! Sasha and Luke OUT!!!

  • Drake Ramoray

    This is something that Phil should have been doing from the start. Odom and Gasol are like peanut butter and jelly. They are perfect together when they are on the court. They both compliment each others strengths on the court. Not to mention that Odom is a rebounding machine. The guy averages over 8 rebounds coming off the bench this year. If he started, he would be in the elusive group of like 3 players in the league this year averaging a double double. Bynum needs to be the focal point of the offense for him to be effective. He’ll get more touches with the second unit and be the first priority which should help strengthen our bench. What I’m really bothered by is this comment made from Phil Jackson about Bynum “He’s a score-first player, and if his points go down, it’s highly likely so does his commitment to defense. There is a very real risk that you lose the best of Bynum if you bench him and shake his confidence.” If Bynum, who’s been in the league now for 5 years, can’t get up for a game because he doesn’t score or he’s not into the game mentally because he’s not scoring which means he won’t play defense, I don’t think he deserves to be playing let alone be a starter. You get paid to play basketball and do your job night in and night out. If you don’t bring it every night, you should take your game to Canada where you’ll get all the touches you want. It’s about a team game, not personal stats. Odom grabs his 10+ rebounds playing next to Gasol no problem. Gasol does the same playing next to Odom. Bynum on the other hand can’t hit double digit rebounds if he was the only 7 footer on the court. He’s good only against physical teams like Boston, Cleveland, and Orlando. Odom stays in the lineup and Bynum can be an anchor for the second unit.——-Another footnote I wanted to point out……I think Shannon Brown is a very athletic and talented player. He just needs to be more quick with his passes and stop dribbling so much. He’s always looking to go one on one and when the ball is passed to him, it usually dies and he ends up dribbling it away to a turnover. He’s too quick for his own good where he’s considered to be O/C = Out of Control! He needs to learn to be more patient and play under the offense and not be so wild. Learn to make more crisp passes and take better shot selection. Again play under control and not always try to run everyone off the court. Your not Forrest Gump playing football!!!!!——

  • Luke makes me Puke

    After watching how much better we have been playing without Bynum in the lineup, moving him to the bench looks like a no brainer. At this point, the risky move would be to bring him back into the starting lineup and upsetting the new found productivity and consistency of Lamar. If it ain’t broke – don’t fix it!

  • WifelovesLuke

    Question! Does it really matter who starts and who comes off the bench? Both Bynum and LO are averaging around 30 minutes per game. And let’s not forget that the combo of Pau and Bynum is the BIGGEST match up problem for all NBA teams to deal with. I would argue that the biggest issue the team has to face when Kobe comes back is ball movement. Will #24 defer to his teammates and let them be involved? If he does then LA will repeat.

  • remy

    i agree with LakersMike31. I’m too hoping that kobe can adjust his game to the benefit of the whole team. this scenario reminds me of the 2000-2001 season after the lakers won their first title and kobe was even more selfish than the year before. (he scored his first 51 pt game against warriors but still loss), but his injury against detroit that forced him to sit out like 15 games i think, he came back and made the proper adjustment which helped the team repeat.

  • Vk2

    muhahhahaha. I dont mean to be all defensive …but i dont get where kobe is all selfish again remarks are coming from. His shot attempts are nearly identical as last season(22/22). Some of you are trying make it seems like gasol has been here all season long, artest has been here all season long, or make it seems like the bench has been consistent.
    This team has been injured all season long and most of the player were in and out of the line and now they are finally playing healthy and getting used to each other. Ironically the one guy that has been there since the beginning is the one guy who is injured and out now but when he gets back and healthy, lakers will be clicking all cylinders. and its not like kobe is some scrub who cant adjust or has never adjusted his game for the better of the team. Its KOBE BRYANT if you didnt know not sasha or artest. He can get his points ANYTIME he wants to.
    Now i really do think phil should move Bynum to the bench so one he will be the primary scoring option for the bench rather than shannon and farmar. Unless lakers are having match up problems, bynum to the bench move is okay with me.

  • onlyone laker fan in L.A.

    Sit big baby Bynum. La mar and Pau have a good feel
    for the triangle.
    Kobe just needs to play team ball stop the ball hog shit make more passes to the open man,
    As for Fisher great Laker just the old dog is getting tired.
    Farmar still has to prove he can play against top guards in this league.