Lamar Odom was expected to be a steal for the Clippers — they needed frontcourt depth behind Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan and if the former Sixth Man of the Year could return to form them could provide that and more.
Well, he can when he’s on the court.
Which may well not be season opener next Wednesday against Memphis. Odom bruised a bone in his foot against the Heat in China a couple weeks ago and hasn’t even practiced with the team since then. And this was not a guy who showed up to camp in peak shape to start with.
Odom himself told the Los Angeles Times he may not be ready to go in the opener.
“I don’t know,” Odom said Thursday after sitting out the Clippers’ final preseason game. “I want to. But I’ve got to be a mature Lamar and realize what this team is really trying to do….
“So, however my body responds the next five or six days, then that will be my guide,” Odom said. “I’ve got to take this body on a test run in practice, take it for a couple of turns around the corner to see how I feel…. I know myself. I can go out there with adrenaline and play well and then be saying ‘ouch’ the next day.”
This can post a challenge for the Clippers against the big front line of Memphis — without Odom they have little depth along that front line.
The Clippers second game? The Lakers. Another team with a monster front line.
But Odom is right, the season is a marathon. He can’t push himself for the first two games. But the Clips will miss him.