Sports Illustrated: The best way to describe Lamar Odom as a player might be to think of him as Kevin Garnett Lite.
He isn’t as dominant as the Celtics’ star and doesn’t have the same defensive presence, but the overall effect he has on a game is unmistakable in a Garnett-like way. He just does whatever has to be done and he does it in a quiet, efficient way.
To put it bluntly, the Lakers wouldn’t be the top seed in the Western Conference if it weren’t for Odom, who without much fanfare is having the best season of his nine-year career. He is a facilitator — the guy who makes everybody else look good by doing a little bit of everything.
“He’s absolutely scary good,” ABC analyst Mark Jackson said during the Lakers’ 128-114 victory against the Nuggets in the opening game of their first-round playoff series. While Pau Gasol was dominant with 36 points, 16 rebounds, eight assists and three blocked shots, and Kobe Bryant was Kobe Bryant with 32 points, Odom was his usual steady and reliable self with a complementary 17 points, 14 rebounds, six assists, two steals and only one turnover in 39 minutes. Six of his rebounds were at the offensive end.
“There isn’t one thing on the basketball floor that he can’t do,” Jackson said. Lakers point guard Derek Fisher called Odom “the consummate team player.”