The NBA: Lamenting Lamar

Lamar Odom has gone so far down he's not even
going to be a Maverick for a while.

*Unless otherwise specified, all images are from the Associated Press.

"When he comes back, we're going to find out very quickly where things are at. He's going to have to show us with his actions and attitude that he's in.” – Mavs Coach Rick Carlisle on Lamar Odom.

When the Sixth Man of the Year moves to the team that just won the NBA Championship, that should be a good thing, right?

Both parties should win, right?


Only, that hasn’t happened for both the Dallas Mavericks and Lamar Odom.

Last year’s best bench player just got benched so far down the bench he won’t even be playing for the Mavericks.

Lamar Odom is now a legend – a Texas Legend.

And, more importantly of course, Khloe Kardashian will find herself cheering for Odom in the NBA D-League.

After averaging career-lows across the board, Odom’s game has come under the microscope, with dismal findings coming out.

Perhaps this is Lamar Odom’s turn to do what Dirk did earlier in the season – take some time off to condition himself, in all aspects, for the grueling grind of post-All-Star Weekend ball.

But will it work for the versatile big man?

I have my doubts.

I have my doubts for two reasons.

One, Odom doesn’t respond well to getting, shall we say, “demoted.” This is how he got to Dallas in the first place. He hear was on the block before the season began and so he wanted out. He felt dissed and unappreciated. I surmise he’ll feel somewhat similar when he dons that Texas Legends jersey.

Two, Odom plays best when he plays with a dominant post presence. He’s never been effective as THE dominant (supposedly) post presence of a team. He played with two dominant post players last season. This time he’s playing with, er, Brendan Haywood. How dare I NOT count Dirk as a post presence? Okay, think about what you just said. Right. Thought so. (Odom had Elton Brand with the Clips and Brian Grant with the Heat)

So where does this leave Lamar Odom? He’s too good to stay in the D-League. In fact, he’ll probably play just one game, but I think his spot on the Mavs is going to be up in the air as well. This is such a tragedy right after winning the SOTY, but Lamar can’t really blame anyone but himself.

He has to get himself together. He has to be the man Dallas wants and needs. He has to show Rick Carlisle that “he’s in.” He has to be the guy Dwyane Wade was aching to get in 2009.

The current Lamar Odom has to stop lamenting and just be, well, the real Lamar Odom.

After the JUMP, key stat-stuffers for today’s games:

MEM over TOR, 102-99
Rudy Gay scored 23 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and made the go-ahead basket with 26 seconds left, as the Grizzles hung to beat the Raptors. Memphis has now won 9 of its last 11 games. Marc Gasol and Mike Conley had 21 points apiece in the narrow victory, while Mayo finished with 16 points. Toronto, who had won two of three coming in, were paced by Jerryd Bayless' 18 points.

ATL over MIL, 99-94
Vladimir Radmanovic hit a trio of three- pointers in the fourth quarter, including the eventual game-winner with 11.9 seconds remaining, as the shorthanded Hawks beat the Bucks. Atlanta, which was without All-Star guard Joe Johnson because of knee tendinitis, had ten different players contribute, including Jannero Pargo, who scored 11 points, all in the decisive fourth quarter. Josh Smith led the scoring attack with 24 points and 19 rebounds.

BOS over NJN, 107-94
Paul Pierce netted 27 points and dished out 8 assists as Boston rolled over New Jersey. Rajon Rondo, who has been the subject of trade rumors, tallied 14 points, 13 assists and 5 steals. Kevin Garnett contributed 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Celtics, who beat the Nets for the 17th time in the last 19 meetings.

CHI over CLE, 112-91
Luol Deng went 4-for-4 from three-point range en route to a season-high 24 points as the Bulls cruised past the Cavaliers. Derrick Rose added 19 points, 9 assists and 3 steals, while Carlos Boozer contributed a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds as Chicago earned its fifth straight win.

DEN over HOU, 117-105
Ty Lawson scored a team-high 22 points while handing out 15 assists and grabbing 7 rebounds to lead the Nuggets over the Rockets. Seven different Nuggets ended in double figures, including Andre Miller and Kenneth Faried, who scored 16 apiece. Arron Afflalo added 17 points and Corey Brewer chipped in 15 as Denver snapped a four-game road losing skid.

NOH over DAL, 97-92
Chris Kaman had 20 points and 13 rebounds in the Hornets' win over the Mavericks. Xavier Henry added 19 points for New Orleans, which halted a two-game skid. Jarrett Jack finished with 15 points and made a fadeaway jumper with 17 seconds left after Dallas pulled within two, 91-89. The Mavericks, meanwhile, have lost four straight and five of six.

PHI over GSW, 105-83
Lou Williams scored 25 points as Philadelphia beat the Warriors on a night the Sixers paid tribute to Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point performance. Elton Brand had 14 points and 14 rebounds, while Andre Iguodala contributed 12 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists for Philly, who bounced back from a 92-88 home loss to the Thunder on Wednesday and snapped a four-game skid at home.

SAS over CHA, 102-72
Tony Parker had 15 points, 4 assists and 3 steals as the Spurs rolled over the Bobcats. Richard Jefferson and Matt Bonner each went 4-for-6 from three-point range and scored 14 points for San Antonio, who won for the second time in three games. Tim Duncan also netted 14 points as the Spurs improved to 14-2 at home this season.

UTA over MIA, 99-98
Devin Harris scored just 13 points, but his three-point play with 4.5 seconds left was the difference, as Utah knocked off the Heat and snapped their nine-game winning streak. With his team down two, Harris drove the lane and sank a floater while drawing a foul on Dwyane Wade for the decisive three-point play. Udonis Haslem missed a jumper at the other end. The Heat were without the third member of "The Big Three" as Chris Bosh missed his second straight contest due to a death in the family.

LAL over SAC, 115-107
For the second straight game, Kobe Bryant didn't let a broken nose and concussion stop him from producing big offensive numbers. Bryant scored a game-high 38 points and pulled down 8 rebounds, as the Lakers beat the Kings. Bryant, playing with a protective facemask after suffering a broken nose and concussion in Sunday's NBA All-Star Game, went 13-of-24 from the field and 11- of-14 from the foul line.

PHX over LAC, 81-78
Jared Dudley scored 22 points, including the game-sealing free throws with 13.3 seconds left in the contest, to go along with 7 rebounds and 4 assists as the Suns held off the Clippers. Marcin Gortat added 18 points and 14 boards, while Grant Hill contributed 14 points in the Suns' second consecutive win to improve to 4-1 on a six-game home stand. Blake Griffin had 17 points and seven rebounds for the Clippers, who lost for the fourth time in six games.

Super Scorers (Top scorers of the night!)
Kobe Bryant (LAL) – 38
LeBron James (MIA) & Kevin Martin (HOU) – 35
Brandon Jennings (MIL) – 34
Dwyane Wade (MIA) – 31

Ragin’ Rebounders (Top rebounders of the night!)
Josh Smith (ATL) – 19
David Lee (GSW) & Andrew Bynum (LAL) – 15

Josh Smith continues to fly high for the Hawks
post-All-Star Weekend.

Dynamic Dishers (Top playmakers of the night!)
Ty Lawson (DEN) – 15
Rajon Rondo (BOS) – 13
Derrick Rose (CHI), Jose Calderon (TOR), & Brandon Jennings (MIL) – 9

Terrific Thieves (Top thieves of the night!)
Rajon Rondo (BOS) – 5
Luc Mbah a Moute (MIL) & Rodrigue Beaubois (DAL) – 4

Will Rajon Rondo finish this season in a Celtics uni?
(image by Elsa/Getty Images)

Boomin’ Blockers (Top blockers of the night!)
Patrick Patterson (HOU) & Shane Battier (MIA) – 4
A LOT with 3

Sharpshooters (Top 3-point shooters of the night!)
Shane Battier (MIA) & Kevin Martin (HOU) – 6
Dirk Nowitzki (DAL) & Brandon Jennings (MIL) – 5

March 2, 2012 First Five
C – Andrew Bynum (LAL) – 19pts, 15rebs, 3blks, 2asts
F – LeBron James (MIA) – 35pts, 10rebs, 6asts, 3blks
F – Kobe Bryant (LAL) – 38pts, 8rebs, 3asts, 1stl, 1blk
G – Kevin Martin (HOU) – 35pts, 6 treys, 4asts, 3rebs, 1blk
G – Brandon Jennings (MIL) – 34pts, 9asts, 5 treys, 3rebs, 2stls

Kobe is still the Man -- the Man in the Plastic Mask.
(image by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Honorable Mention:
Josh Smith (ATL) – 24pts, 19rebs, 4asts, 3blks
Paul Pierce (BOS) – 27pts, 8asts, 4rebs, 3 treys, 1blk
Ty Lawson (DEN) – 22pts, 15asts, 7rebs, 2stls

Daily Zap:


*Game recaps were compiled and compressed from the Sports Network.
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