Fox Sports: What do you think about the Lakers’ plan to start Trevor Ariza and use Lamar Odom off the bench? — Eugene Dawal, Philippines

I think it’s a terrific idea for several reasons: Playing alongside Kobe and Pau Gasol, Odom can’t establish any kind of offensive rhythm simply because he doesn’t get enough touches. This situation tends to emphasize his natural inclination to lose concentration and play with inconsistency. Being the featured player on the second unit, however, should supply the touches he needs to maintain his focus. Also, by matching up against an opponent’s second-line players, Odom should be a much more effective point-maker. Even so, it’s a good bet that Odom will still get plenty of daylight at the end of close ball games.

Adding Ariza to the starting lineup greatly increases the Lakers’ speed, quickness and defensive pressure. Also, Ariza doesn’t need the ball to play well.

Once Odom calms down and leaves his ego in his locker, he’ll see that the move is best for him and best for the Lakers.

Do you think that the currently constituted Knicks will have any success playing Mike D’Antoni’s fast-break, quick-shooting style? Without a Steve Nash-type point guard, and a roster full of quick, athletic, sharp-shooting complementary players, I think the Knicks are doomed to fail. What’s your take? — Harley Chosen (not my real name), Virginia Beach, Va.

I couldn’t agree more. The relevant question, though, is how much D’Antoni will adjust his game plan to match the abilities of the players on hand. Quentin Richardson thrived under D’Antoni’s guidance when their paths crossed in Phoenix. Jamal Crawford should also be a good fit in D’Antoni’s system. Ditto for David Lee, Mardy Collins, Jared Jeffries (when he returns to action), Chris Duhon, Winston Chandler and Nate Robinson. Even Stephon Marbury (is he still around?) would be an acceptable fit, but only if he embraced the possibility of either playing the shooting guard and/or coming off the bench.

Continue reading ‘Q&A: Playing Odom off the bench could help Lakers’

  • showtime2k9

    I wonder if LO cares more about his contract next year than getting a championship this one. He’s said he wants to stay in LA and I’m sure he does even if he has to put up with all the fan criticism. But he needs to think about what he can do to make the team better and not what the team can do to make him better. I think Phil is thinking about what they can do to make him better, but he needs to trust the organization. They want to do what’s best for him, because in the end, it will be what’s best for the team. C’mon LO, we need your focus and consistency. Prove all those doubters wrong.

  • xtro

    lamar can lead a fast break attack in the 2nd unit while trevor can wreak havoc as a defender in the starting five. check your ego, l.o. and agree!

  • DCLAKER

    I really don’t care either way..but because of LO’s length I’d start’em.Trevor is more in your face type defender.

    … or just balance starting roles between’em,meaning,if Lakers play Portland, because of size matchups,start LO,if it’s Miami,start Ariza.

  • aggressive expansion

    LO should simply come off the bench. We got enough scoring and rebounding in the starting line up. I don’t really squat coming from the bench. It’s nice, but where are the rebounds and fastbreakes coming from. In comes LO and wahla, second unit can start for another team. That’s how insane this team would be if LO checks his ego at the door. ’09 Champs here we come

  • http://www.thelakersnation.com Fred A.

    I say give LO another chance a that starting spot, trust me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

  • threedgreedy

    L.O would be a good starter if he had a jumper. ODOM HAS A GOOD ALL AROUND GAME BUT HE DOES NOT HAVE A JUMPER.

  • LakersFirst

    The key sentence in this article is:

    “Once Odom calms down and leaves his ego in his locker, he’ll see that the move is best for him and best for the Lakers.”

    Will LO leave his ego in the locker room?

  • Freshh

    LO can’t play a Manu type role, b/c he can’t create his own shot as effectively.

    Start him

  • yellowpurplefever

    I like that very much… “check his ego at the lockeroom” He’ll be the 2nd unit focal point. C’mom LO get with the program. Championship Basketball cannot wait for you(4 years) to focus. We want the CHIP this year. Just play hard and right you’ll get your extension.