“When Lamar is at his best, the Lakers are virtually unbeatable” – Mark Jackson
ESPN: Throughout the season, the Lakers’ bench has been the target of criticism. But Wednesday, coach Phil Jackson was generally complimentary of how his reserves performed over the first two games of their first-round matchup against Oklahoma City.
“I have to give them credit,” he said. “They’ve held their own against the Oklahoma bench. We’ve really survived that well.”
Still, heading into Ford Center for Thursday’s Game 3, Jackson believes he’ll need better play from his bench players, starting with the most prominent member of the group. “I think Lamar [Odom] has to give us an imprint in the ballgame,” he said.
Through the first two games, Odom has scored a total of 11 points on only 13 attempts. Jackson believes Odom can have a far greater impact.
“It’s an understanding of what the game is. Opportunities are going to be in shots and little things like that and probably little pockets he finds to make penetration,” Jackson said. “He found a couple in the second half [of Game 2], or one for sure in the second half that looked like he had established the kind of game he plays.”
Told of Jackson’s commentary, Odom, who has spent most of his six seasons with the Lakers fighting criticism about a lack of aggression offensively, seemed unconcerned. “He wants to see me play well offensively,” he said. “He wants to see me get involved. He just wants to see me go and get in my comfort zone.”