Super Sixth Men: Lamar Odom, Jason Terry and Jamal Crawford

The best men off the bench in the NBA
(image from

Lamar Odom ran away with the 6th Man of the Year award, and he definitely put up the numbers to warrant the accolade. Jason Terry and Jamal Crawford, however, also had great season stats and both are doing even better in the current postseason. All three will play vital roles if their respective teams have any hopes of advancing deeper into the playoffs. Odom and Terry make an interesting pair as they will collide in the second round. Crawford, for his part, will have a chance at trying to slow down Derrick Rose and his rampaging Chicago Bulls.

Is Lamar LA's version of Toni Kukoc?
(image by Harry How)
Lamar Odom = Kobe’s Scottie?

Umm he was supposed to be I think, at least when they first got him. Turns out he doesn’t thrive as a Number 2 option. That spot currently belongs to Pau Gasol, that is until Andrew Bynum becomes consistent enough to supplant him. As long as the spotlight isn’t on Odom, he can get the job done. On a team where people are focused on Kobe’s plethora of moves, Gasol’s soft touch, Bynum’s power play, and Artest’s antics, Odom is in a perfect situation to strike when nobody is looking. His length, outside shot, quickness and explosiveness are reminiscent not really of Scottie Pippen, but, strangely enough, the Number 3 option of THAT Chicago Bulls team, who also came off the bench, – Toni Kukoc.

Jason Terry = Dallas Desperado

Terry can put up twenty every night
(image by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
The past two seasons, Jason Terry’s points-per-game average in the playoffs was lower than in the regular season. No big surprise that the furthest the Mavs reached was the second round in 2009, when they lost to the Denver Nuggets, 4-1. If Mark Cuban wants to revisit his championship dreams, then Terry will have to be a consistent second fiddle to Dirk Nowitzki. If this Dallas team had this roster early in the 2000s, they would have been unbeatable considering those were the prime years of Shawn Marion, Peja Stojakovic, and Jason Kidd, but not this year. Against LA these Mavs look quite vulnerable. Marion, Peja and Kidd will have good and bad games, but Terry MUST be consistently good for the Mavs to even have a sliver of a chance.

Jamal Crawford = Flying on Clipped Wings

Crawford shot down the Magic
(image by C. Cox/Getty Images)
Crawford has been in the postseason only twice. The first time, they were pushed to 7 games by the Milwaukee Bucks and swept, nay demolished, by the Orlando Magic in the next round. It hasn’t exactly been pretty, but he’s been playing pretty good ball this time around. He led the Hawks in scoring in 3 out of their 6 games against the Magic, two of them Atlanta won. As the Hawk with the highest scoring average in the postseason, it seems Atlanta will go as far as Crawford can take them. His transformation has been nothing short of phenomenal (14.2ppg in the regular season to 20.5ppg in the playoffs), and he will lean on that phenomenal jump to try and dilute the effects of Atlanta’s next headache – Derrick Rose.

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