One Headband Can Make the Difference

28 03 2012

Finally – I attended my first Dallas Mavericks game of the 2011-2012 NBA season.

I expected to see a win from a rested Mavericks’ team over a tired Houston Rockets’ group that just had an overtime win over the Sacramento Kings the prior night.

This turned out to be true.

What I didn’t expect to see was Lamar Odom in a headband. Oh, and actual effort from the power forward.

I promise, it happened.

The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Houston Rockets, 90-81, with solid play from the Mavs’ bench. They poured in 48 points as Terry, Wright, Odom and Beaubois all made a positive impact while on the floor.

When No. 7 first went in at the 5:22 mark in the first quarter, he was greeted with a mix of cheers and boos. This has been the case for the past few home games.

However, with some play consisting of actual effort, Odom showed how easily sports crowds can be swayed when a player decides to try. By the time he re-entered the game in the second quarter, Mr. Odom-Kardashian heard nothing but loud cheers as he stepped onto the court.

The play from Odom allowed his coach to put a new and powerful lineup on the court. Rick Carlisle implemented a lineup consisting of Wright at the 5, Dirk at the 4 and Odom at the 3 that gave them a size advantage similar to what the Lakers had the previous two seasons.

Up to this point, Odom’s primary role on this team has consisted of providing Dirk with rest. What he has done when he is actually on the court has been far from what he brought to the Lakers.

Having the ability to put a productive Odom beside Dirk creates a team with great length that few squads can match. Once Brendan Haywood gets healthy, a consistent LO could give the Mavericks a very dangerous frontcourt.

But can Odom’s team expect him to start performing at a high normal-level?

I have decided to bring in a different NBA follower’s perspective to try and find the correct answer.

Can Lamar Odom consistently play like he did tonight?

 

 

Guest Writer: Trevor Rathbun

Lamar Odom’s Heart Has a Pulse After All

Not to brag here, but as I told my dear friend and great up and coming journalist Jay Wallis, I predicted Lamar Odom to have a stat line of 10 points, five rebounds, and three assists in this game for the Mavs. He winded up having nine points of 4-of-5 shooting, four boards, and three assists to go along with a steal and a block in his very effective and energizing 20 minutes. How did he post these numbers? With the same aggression that he had when he was in a purple and gold uniform. Every time he grabbed a rebound, he pushed the ball down the floor. Pretty much every time he scored, he was putting in one nice jab step or pump fake then driving hard to the hole. I’ve never heard the Dallas Mavericks fans cheering for him as I did on this night, much deservingly so. Oh, one more fun fact: Odom has had a plus/minus of -67 the past few games when he has been on the floor. Tonight, he was +8. Wow. Crazy what being aggressive can do for you and your team.

The game started out horrible for the Mavs. They didn’t drive the lane, and instead stood around and looked for jump-shots and threes, which they seem to have a habit of doing more often than not. At one point the game was 15-4. But when Roddy Beaubois, who in my opinion has been almost as good of a spark plug as J.J. was when he was here these past few years, entered the game, he decided to take control and drive the lane. That’s when the comeback began. Brandan Wright, Roddy B, and LO all came off the bench, and all contributed to the run that got the Mavs within three at half time. On a night when Big Dirk was broke from about everywhere except the free-throw line, the rest of his team came to his support, especially the bench, which scored a combined 48 points.

The Mavs continued to be aggressive and drive the lane when the third quarter started, resulting in them taking the lead on a 7-0 run midway through the quarter. Along with being aggressive on offense, these Mavs, who gave up a not-so-characteristic 30 points in the first, came alive on defense in the second half. Luis Scola was lighting the Mavs up in the first half, but the Mavs came out and doubled-teamed him, resulting in errant passes and turnovers that the Mavs ran with. These fast paced Mavs, with Roddy Beaubois leading the fast break, never looked back and controlled the rest of the game. Jason Kidd didn’t even have to step on the court in the fourth quarter, which is top priority for the Mavs. The dagger of this game was a ferocious two handed slam by the high-flying Brendan Wright from a bounce pass by Jason Terry. Wright, who has been spectacular in Brendan Haywood’s absence, made 6 of his 7 shots tonight resulting in 13 points.

This win was crucial for the Mavs, who have now jumped in front of the Rockets by two games. They now hold the tiebreaker over Denver and Houston, which could be important at the end of the regular season due to the tightness of the playoff race in the West. All in all, it was refreshing to see Lamar Odom come to life and contribute, and to jump ahead a few games in the West to be in a tie for fourth amongst the Memphis Grizzlies and the L.A. Clippers.

 

 

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One response

28 03 2012
thenewsofsports

Odom did look energized against the Rockets, at least compared to the zombie he’s been all season. You just have to wonder. Where did that LA Lamar Odom go?

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