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.