Will Lamar Odom be an effective player this year?

Will Lamar Odom be an effective player this year?

Will Lamar succeed in Dallas? It's up to one person: Lamar. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

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by WFAA Sports Bloggers

wfaa.com

Posted on March 6, 2012 at 2:35 AM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 6 at 5:42 AM

Jake Kemp: I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Odom returns and is effective in a limited role. For all the histrionics his puzzling behavior brings about from the rabble, I wouldn’t count this front office out when it comes to convincing him to deliver two-and-half months of his better ball. Odom’s case is in interesting one that makes us (for a split-second) relate to pro athletes, because most everyone has dealt with “just not feeling right” at some point in their lives. But that sentiment is fleeting because ultimately, he chose this profession. And lest we not forget, he also “demanded” to be dealt. You have a bad poker face, Strong Sad.

 
Kevin Turner: I've given up on him.  I have a theory that the disappearing act he pulled directly pre- and post-all-star break is related to his scripted "reality" television show.  Think about it...the show needs content for later in the year, and it's hard for them to get any time to film Lamar with Khloe, due to this compacted NBA season.  Two games before and after the break give them two weeks to film anything they need so they can package it for later in the series.  I'm not saying I necessarily believe this, but one can throw out conspiracy theories, right?
 
The worst thing anybody could do is jump to conclusions.  I don't know him, and I assume most of the media covering Lamar doesn't know him very well on a personal level.  He's definitely got some issues, and I'd certainly hate for the Mavs to be a part of any unnecessary drama.
 
As far as on-court production, I just don't see him amounting to anything as a Dallas Maverick.  Body language says a lot, and Lamar looks like a sad puppy dog nearly every time he's in the arena. Maybe that's always been his demeanor, but I sure didn't notice it when he was with the Lakers. The dude has probably got some problems right now, and I think everyone is trying to be respectful to him, but patience is wearing thin in Mavs land.  In the end, if he isn't producing or if he continues this weird game of hide and seek, I don't think many Mavs fans are going to care about Lamar Odom or his problems. 
 
It may sound harsh, but I think the following question should be asked.  Did you care about Lamar Odom or his problems before he was a Maverick?  My answer is no -- and I think most Mavs fans see things the same way.
 
Kevin Brolan: It's easy to say Odom needs to “man up” and just face the grind of the regular season like he should. Everyone has to do it and it’s why he’s paid. While I want to say that, it’s simply not fair to assume without knowing exactly what is going on in his life. With that being said, Odom has to be an effective player because the Mavericks need him to be. Acquiring Odom during the offseason was one of the biggest ways the Mavs’ brain trust planned to sell the team and the fans on this year’s roster after letting Tyson Chandler, JJ Barea, and the gang walk in free agency. 
 
I’ll still cling to the hope that Odom will find a way to be useful piece this season simply because I can’t give up on his insane skillset. Odom has been a part of too much winning in this league to not find a way to contribute to a team with championship aspirations. My only concern is him realizing more and more the extreme likelihood that he won’t be a part of the organization's long-term plan. 
 
Also, his show is the worst.
 
Joseph Ursery: I believe in talent, and that talent generally wins out over intangibles, so I want to say yes- but there's an event horizon at some point where you have to realize it's just not going to happen for Odom and the Mavs in 2012. For a player with Odom's resume, you set that point as far out as you can, but it's getting closer all the time -- and this situation might be an example of not knowing a moment was happening until it's already passed. If Odom doesn't show consistent life after his last sabbatical, we might be there.
 
Or Moyal: Lamar Kardashian-Odom is a lot of things. He's a shockingly versatile talent. He's a two-time NBA champion. He's also 12 years old, going on 33. Odom's psyche has been carried with it descriptors like 'fragile,' 'tender,' and 'treat with care,' -- which don't pose a huge problem when Odom is in a perfect situation such as the one the Lakers presented him with.
 
That situation is now a sweet, distant memory -- and Odom's baggage has burst open and polluted Dallas more spectacularly than that of any athlete in recent memory. His game has taken steps back in essentially every area, most appreciably in terms of scoring efficiency (His true shooting percentage has somehow plummeted from .589 to .439). The effort has been notably lacking, something RIck Carlisle alluded to on ESPN Radio's Galloway and Company last Friday
 
Right now, it's hard to see Odom playing solid ball for the Mavs. But the right people are in place to help that along. The Mavericks are fully committed to squeezing two months' worth of production from Odom. And if Odom has a single self-motivational bone in his body, he will salvage his career before it goes into a fatal nosedive. Teams have little use for players who don't care.
 
I'm of the belief Odom can and will be an above-average forward for the Mavericks going forward. I'm not sure whether he's there yet, or how much additional prodding it will take. I'm absolutely certain he's gone next year. But Lamar Odom is not a lost cause on the court. 
 

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