Lamar Odom as Sixth Man Has Begun

Phil Jackson's idea to use Lamar Odom with the team's second unit became a reality last night, in the team's third game of the preseason against the Kings. Jackson had Odom practice in this role on Saturday, then said a bunch of stuff to reassure Lamar that hey, it was just an experiment, it could really help the team, and he could still end up with 30-plus minutes a night in that role.

You may recall that when Jackson initially floated the idea, it wasn't exactly well-received by his player. But that was Odom talking, not Lamar. Lamar's apparently way cooler with it than Odom is.

"That was like my alter-ago talking," Odom said of last month's outburst. "Seriously. That's Odom. Not Lamar. I'm being dead serious. I'm a good locker-room dude. I don't want to be detrimental to the team, especially, like, how this is a championship-caliber team."

Well done, my man. Going to the alter-ego card will get you off the hook for some hastily-spoken words anytime. As for the experiment itself, did it work? Lamar had four points, nine rebounds, and three assists in 22 minutes, and was seemingly more focused than he was in either of his first two preseason games as a starter. If you're a believer in plus/minus statistics (I am not), the team was +11 with Odom on the floor. And the nine rebounds are especially nice, considering that with Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol in the starting lineup, Odom's rebounding prowess would likely be wasted if he was starting.

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