NBA FanHouse walks through the Valley of the Most Likely
a big fuss Lamar Odom initially bristled on board with the move
The change of heart was fueled by the realization that Phil Jackson is still going to play L.O. starter minutes and the fact that Odom probably fits in better with the uptempo style of the second unit than half court style of the first unit. Odom also realized that he has a chance to be a part of a potential championship team, and that it would be unwise to muck that up over his desire to start -- especially when he's still going to be playing big minutes.
This move automatically makes Odom a contender for sixth man of the year.
Odom is at his best when he doesn't have pressure to deliver night in and night out. We saw how much better Lamar played last season when Pau Gasol arrived and took a lot of the focus off of Lamar. Lamar will now be matched up against second string power forwards for big chunks of the game. That match up weighs heavily in favor of the Lakers.
As well, the second unit for the Lakers is filled with talented cats that fit in with Lamar's skill set. Trevor Ariza, Jordan Farmar, and Sasha Vujacic all like to apply pressure on defense, and get out and push the ball on offense. Lamar will thrive playing next to those three.
But more than anything, this is a contract year for Lamar. He is going to have to come up big if he wants to acquire another big time contract. Don't think that's not on L.O.'s mind.
Despite all this, Lamar will still have some competition for the award. Andrei Kirilenko is also coming off the bench this season, so you know he'll have a say in this. Second year sensation, Rodney Stuckey is going get starters minutes off the bench for the Pistons this season, so he'll also be in the mix. As well, annual 6th man award contenders like Ben Gordon, Manu Ginobili, and Leandro Barbosa will be formidable reserves.
But something in my gut tells me that Lamar will be the best reserve this season. Remember, L.O. is playing for a championship and to earn a new contract. Those incentives alone make him the favorite to be the 2008-09 6th Man of the Year.
Most Likely to Win Sixth Man of the Year: Lamar Odom originally appeared on NBA FanHouse on 2008-10-28T09:00:00+00:00. Please see our terms for use of feeds.