Tag: Lamar Odom

Eddy Curry, Andre Iguodala

Tuesday And-1 links: Shed a tear, Spurs waive Eddy Curry


Here is our regular look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points.

• Eddy Curry had actually looked better than you might expect for the Spurs this preseason, but that wasn’t enough. He was a longshot from the start. The Spurs cut Curry on Tuesday (along with Derrick Brown), the team announced. Hard to imagine a soft landing spot for him in the league.

• Speaking of guys waived in the last few days, there is Christian Eyenga (Lakers), Walker Russell (Thunder), Chris Douglas-Roberts (Lakers), and Greg Somogyi (Lakers).

Yao Ming golfing. Those are going to be some very long clubs.

• The Nuggets have exercised third year options on Kenneth Faried and Jordan Hamilton in a surprise to nobody anywhere.

• Actually less shocking, the Pistons exercised their fourth-year option for Greg Monroe.

Great post looking at how the Nets guards (Deron Williams, Joe Johnson) operate out of the post. That team has a lot of offensive options. Defense on the other hand….

An interesting interview with Jim Buss, the guy at the top of the Lakers front office food chain right now, son of Jerry Buss and the guy making the decisions. And he has his own stats formula, thank you very much.

• If you want more Lakers’ interviews, here is one with Pau Gasol.

Might the Heat decide to trade Joel Anthony?

• Paul Pierce can’t see himself in any uniform but a Celtics’ one. Have to agree there, it would look weird.

• Looks like Al Horford will be back in the Hawks lineup on Friday for the final preseason game.

• Detroit’s Corey Maggette’s has a “slight pull” in his left calf and he will be out for a while. Stunning, I know.

• Great post looking at the best minimum-salary players in the NBA. Hello Delonte West.

Some more details on how Royce White plans to get to some (most?) Rockets away games without flying.

• Lamar Odom was held out of Monday’s Clippers preseason game with what Vinny Del Negro described as a bone bruise on his knee. That does not help his conditioning issue.

• Hornets big man Jason Smith may miss the rest of the Hornets’ preseason to let his sore shoulder heal.

• Rookie Doran Lamb, who had battled an elbow injury, returned to practice for the Bucks on Tuesday.

• Wizards rookie Bradley Beal was held out of practice on Tuesday as a precaution after an ankle tweak, but it appears to be nothing serious.

• A Q&A with Dallas big Elton Brand.

Brian Scalabrine previews the Boston Celtics.

• Here is a blog post slamming the general populace of the Los Angeles Lakers fan base (some NSFW language, if that bothers you). As a guy who cut his blogging teeth on a Lakers site of my creation and who lives in Los Angeles, all I’ll say is this — I started a Lakers blog in part to be able to control the level of Lakers discourse going on around me.

• For those of you who need your occasional fix of international basketball, we have good news. FIBA and ESPN have announced a multi-year deal that has them covering the FIBA Americas Championships (2013, 2015), the
EuroBaskets (2013, 2015), the FIBA Basketball World Cup (2014). You can also add the FIBA World Championship for Women (2014) to the list.

The Clippers brought in veterans for depth, who are now all banged up

Lamar Odom, Caron Butler

The Clippers went for the sure thing this offseason. They want to compete now, so instead of developing young talent or going for upside, they brought in veterans to round out their roster. They wound up with a pretty deep team with a lot of experience. Who are currently all hurt in minor ways.

From the Times:

Odom, Grant Hill and Chauncey Billups didn’t practice Thursday.

Odom took a break because of his knees, but Del Negro said, “He’ll be fine.

“Grant is nursing some things, Lamar is nursing some things and Chauncey is picking his spots,” Del Negro said. “We’re a much different team when you add those three guys to our roster. So hopefully we can get them as healthy as possible and as quickly as possible to get some practice time.”

via Clippers backup center Ryan Hollins has his teammates’ backs – latimes.com.

Now none of this are serious. And Billups’ injury was pre-existing. But this is the problem with the approach. If you have depth that has injury concerns, is it really depth? Billups has been busting his backside to get back on the court, though. With Hill, he’s had injury issues everywhere except Phoenix with their technowizards. And Odom’s problems are a whole other deal.

The Clippers should be fine, but it’s not really what you want to hear this early in the season.

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

Lamar Odom, Caron Butler

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.

NBA season preview: L.A. Clippers

Blake Griffin, Chris Paul

Last Season: Perhaps it was the start of a cultural change in Clipperland, or maybe it was simply the beginning of a very short-term spike of relative success. Either way, your 2011-12 Clippers were competitive, fun to watch, and a team that made its way into the playoffs — three qualities that have been completely absent from the team for most of its tortured existence.

Key Departures: Randy Foye was serviceable as a starter for most of the season, and the rest of the dearly departed — Mo Williams, Nick Young, Kenyon Martin, and Reggie Evans — made up the majority of the contributions off the bench.

Key Additions: The combination of Lamar Odom (one year removed from receiving the league’s Sixth Man honor), Grant Hill (an excellent on-ball defender and still a top fast break finisher), and Jamal Crawford (instant offense, or at least instant shot attempts) should be immediately better than the combination of players who filled those minutes a season ago. But the biggest addition might be that of a healthy Chauncey Billups, who was lost to injury early in last season’s campaign. Offense was the Clippers’ strength last year, but they should be even better with this group heading into this season.

Three keys to the Clippers season:

1) The evolution of Blake Griffin. There’s no question that Griffin is one of the most powerful and athletic players in game today. His dunks are already the stuff of legend, and his physical style of play is both effective for his team and aggravating for opposing players (see: Cousins, DeMarcus). If Griffin can extend the range on his jumper and be a better positional team defender, those things will do wonders for the Clippers’ chances to compete with the league’s elite.

2) Chauncey Billups playing alongside Chris Paul. The return of Billups should be a huge boost to the Clippers offensively. However, there is a little issue here, and that’s the fact that Billups likes to play with the ball in his hands. Paul is one of the game’s elite point guards, and he was the one most responsible for guiding the team’s explosive offense a season ago. Billups will need to slide into the two-guard role without kicking and screaming, and when he does have the ball, he’ll need to show patience instead of constantly looking to launch as many three-pointers as humanly possible.

3) Which Lamar Odom shows up? The reality show aspect of Odom’s persona worked out just fine for the Lakers, but that, along with some other much more serious family issues, eventually took their emotional toll on the mercurial one whose unique skill set makes his potential team contributions almost limitless. After a season where he essentially sat out in Dallas, we’ll see if Odom’s head is in the right place, and if he is able to get back into peak physical condition to be able to contribute as we all know he can. It was a calculated risk for the Clippers to bring him back, but one that’s really all upside.

What Clipers fans should fear: This season couldn’t be more crucial for the immediate, long-term future of the franchise. A dramatic statement, sure — but one based in fact. Consider that Vinny Del Negro is in the final year of his head coaching contract, and that not many observers believe he’s strong enough to lead a talented team to the next level. How he does managing this veteran squad will go a long way in whether or not he’s asked back. But more importantly, his relative success will undoubtedly affect the decision of Chris Paul, who will be an unrestricted free agent after this season.

If Del Negro underachieves with this group, Paul — as much as he says he likes L.A. and wants to stay — will surely consider other options. The super-team model in the NBA isn’t going away anytime soon, and while the Clippers have plenty of talent on paper, the grass can always seem greener unless winning goes along with playing in that comfortable large market, and all of the ancillary benefits it can provide.

Prediction: A top-four seed in the Western Conference playoffs should be an attainable goal for this team, especially with the talent upgrade it was able to pull off this summer. But it won’t be easy or guaranteed, with teams like San Antonio, Denver, and Memphis right there in the mix behind the Lakers and Thunder juggernauts. A three-seed out West at best, a six-seed at worst.

Odom wants to apologize to Mavs fans, Cuban for last season

Lamar Odom

Lamar Odom’s fall from Sixth Man of the Year and NBA title holder to guy the Dallas Mavericks told to just go away and don’t come near the rest of the players was fast and public.

Odom invited it all in when he married a Kardashian and became a reality television star, but when he was just not mentally ready for the season he became public enemy No. 1 in Dallas. (Well, No. 2, No. 1 is always Tony Romo.) He became the scapegoat for a disappointing season in Dallas following their title run, lockout and roster makeover.

Then ESPN’s Ric Bucher tweeted this (hat tip Ball Don’t Lie):


Cuban declined to comment at Mavs camp, which is the smart move. Take the high road here.

I’m a fan of his, but Odom was woeful as a member of the Mavs. He is a guy who struggles to compartmentalize life on and off the court. That summer before he was in New York for the funeral of a cousin when a car he was in (not driving) struck and killed a 15-year-old. The lockout came and he wasn’t motivated. He showed up to training camp out of shape and disinterested, and things spiraled down from there. Mavs fans have a reason to be frustrated, Odom has always been talented and enigmatic, but this was as bad as he has been.

Now he is a Clipper (although reports are he didn’t exactly show up to camp in peak shape) and I expect him to have a better season. He is back in his comfort zone, and you can bet Chris Paul and Blake Griffin will push him. Hard.

As for Odom and Dallas, it’s really best if both sides moved on and tried to forget about it. No reason to dwell on the past.