Lamar Odom, Caron Butler

Del Negro says Odom will work way into shape “eventually”


The Clippers needed depth along the front line and signing Lamar Odom, just a couple years removed from being the Sixth Man of the Year, seemed like a good fit.

That is, if his head was in the right place and he wasn’t lost like he spent the last year with the Mavericks.

Apparently his head is doing pretty well, but his body is not in NBA shape quite yet and he didn’t play Wednesday night against Utah., as coach Vinny Del Negro told the Los Angeles Times.

Del Negro said Odom’s knees are bothering him and that playing the 6-10 forward against the Jazz probably would have set him back.

“He’s got to work through some conditioning things and some health things right now, which he’s doing,” Del Negro said. “Yeah, I wish he was in a little bit better conditioning, and he wishes he was. But he’s just got to continue to work every day and I’m sure he’ll get there eventually.”

The Clippers have the enviable duo of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan to start, although Jordan was benched during the playoffs for large stretches in favor of Reggie Evans. That would be the Reggie Evans sitting on the bench in Brooklyn. The Clippers need depth up front, they need Odom in shape and with his head screwed on right.

Khris Middleton dunks, Jimmy Butler can’t stop him (VIDEO)

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Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.

Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.

Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.

Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter

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Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.

His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.

George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).

As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.