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Odom’s ‘Luck’: According to Stoudemire

Lamar Odom Lakers

May 20, 2010 – R.S. De France

Although I’ve been a fan of his game since coming into the league, Amar’e Stoudemire made some ridiculous comments about Lamar Odom’s excellent game 1 in the Western Conference Finals.

Odom finished game 1 with 19 points and 19 rebounds, and he’s now one of only three players in NBA history to have ever grabbed 19 boards off the bench in a playoff game.

After practice the next day, this is what Stoudemire had to say:

“I’m not giving him no hype right now; he had a lucky game in Game 1.  We just got to make sure we box him out. I think I focused so much on [Pau] Gasol and [Andrew] Bynum to where he snuck in there and got 19 boards, so now we just got to make sure there’s three guys out there that can rebound well [when] adding Odom. So, we got to do a better job on them.”

Tuesday afternoon, on the Mason and Ireland show, they were talking about how you just do not go in the game and “sneak” 19 rebounds.  They really explained Stoudemire’s poor choice of words.  Besides, Stoudemire is just jealous—he only had 3 rebounds.

While I was watching the game, what I noticed the most, next to Kobe Bryant’s 40, was that Odom was unleashed on the Suns.  He was everywhere, driving the lane, rebounding, and putting in second-chance opportunities.

In fact, I vividly remember two plays in the second quarter where Odom just took it to Stoudemire.  On a drive to the bucket, Odom scored easily over Stoudemire, who tried, poorly, to take a charge.  He bent like a straw.  A few plays later, Odom was dribbling the ball at the top of the key, guarded by Amar’e.  Odom drove left—which is not unusual; the guy is left-handed—and Stoudemire got lost by the pick and Odom’s speed.  By the time Odom was laying it in, Stoudemire and Robin Lopez were just in time to barely put their hands up and pretend like they had been playing defense.

By the end of the game, each player’s stat-lines read:

Points                  Rebounds            +/-

19                        19                              +24

23                        3                              -23

Earth to Stoudemire: “When a guy torches you, its not luck!”

The Lakers, although up by about 20 at different points, only won by 11 points and gave up 107 points.  So, clearly, they, too, had some defensive lapses.

The Suns, on the other hand, were all defensive lapses for the whole 48 minutes.  You do not give up 128 points playing great defense.

In game two, the Lakers again played the Suns tight before extending the lead permanently as they won 124-112.  In that game, Odom proved that, although he is sometimes inconsistent, it is not luck.  With 17 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 steals; Odom out-dueled Stoudemire; who had 18 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 turnovers; again.

So, as the series progresses, we can only expect Odom to prove that it is not luck again and again.

R.S. De France is a College and University instructor of English Composition. He has a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Rhetoric, Composition, and Writing. One of his life-long pursuits has been writing and covering anything related to sports, specifically the NBA. Recently, De France, his wife, and another colleague started an internationally read magazine at Shwibly.com.

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