<
>

Notes from Laker Shootaround: Lamar Odom to Start?

ESPN's Shelley Smith reports from Laker shootaround.

Lamar Odom is likely to start in place of Andrew Bynum. Phil Jackson says "we're thinking about it."

Two sources close to Odom say he will start.

Also Jackson said Luke Walton will be on the active list tonight.

The Lakers had a two-hour shootaround today, the longest of the season. Jackson says "well we got to laughing and joking in film session and just got carried away."

David Thorpe says that if Odom starts, that would mean a few things:

  • Pau Gasol would be guarding Yao Ming. Sounds bad for the Lakers, but Thorpe believes in Gasol, and wrote today about Gasol's ability to bait opponents into making entry passes he can deflect or steal.

  • The normal benefit of Bynum and Gasol together is that one of them would be guarded by a power forward, and presumably have a size advantage. Abandoning the twin towers would be an acknowledgement that Houston forward Luis Scola is enough of tough defender to remove a lot of that benefit.

  • "L.A.," points out Thorpe, "can not go down 0-2. So whatever Phil does is a big sign of what he believes to be his best lineup right now."