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News » Odom's intensity ebbs in loss to Nuggets 2009-03-02


Odom's intensity ebbs in loss to Nuggets 2009-03-02


Odom's intensity ebbs in loss to Nuggets 2009-03-02

Game Time: Nuggets 90, Lakers 79

Before getting dumped by the Nuggets, the Lakers had gone 12-1 with Andrew Bynum down and out. During those 13 games, Lamar Odom had stepped up from being an erratic underachiever to playing like an All-Star. But in Denver, Odom took a step backward.

Offense

For the most part, Odom functioned as a feeder, ball-reverser, and general facilitator from a spot in the middle of the court and a few feet above the 3-point arc. In many sequences, he even carried the ball across the time-line.

If you have a question or comment for Charley Rosen, submit it below and Charley may just respond.

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  • Because of this, they're usually better versed in the intricacies and the necessity of team-oriented basketball.

  • Many of them come from war-ravaged parts of the world and are therefore not subject to the super-star syndrome that plagues so many American hoopers.

  • Which means that European players are usually more coachable, more mature, and more willing to accept personal responsibility for their mistakes.

    On the flip side, white European players are generally less physical than their American counterparts, as well as being demonstrably inferior on defense.

    Here are the best players in each category.

    Euros: Andrea Bargnani, Andris Biedrins, Jose Calderon, Rudy Fernandez, Pau Gasol, Zydrunas Ilglauskas, Andrei Kirilenko, Linas Kleiza, Nenad Krstic, Dirk Nowitzki, Mehmet Okur, Sasha Pavlovic, Peja Stojakovic, Hedo Turkoglu, Beno Udrih, and Sasha Vujacic.

    Americans: Steve Blake, Matt Bonner, Nick Collison, Mike Dunleavy, Jeff Foster, Matt Harpring, Kirk Hinrich, Chris Kaman, Kyle Korver, David Lee, Mike Miller, Brad Miller, Troy Murphy, Brian Scalabrine, Wally Szczerbiak, and Luke Walton.

    In a playoff series, I'll take the Europeans to beat the Americans four games to two.

    Travels with Charley

    This is Part II of a two-part story. To read Part I, please click here.

    There were two serious structural problems in the beloved confines of the Wharton Fieldhouse:

    There was an extremely narrow aisle separating both teams' benches from the first row of bleacher seats behind them, and the aisle was covered with a long flimsy strip of rug that was always wrinkled.

    Even worse, the entrance to the visitors' locker room was immediately adjacent to an exit door.

    NBA roundup


    Sunday's action

    • Suns ride Shaq past Lakers
    • Pistons upset Celts, now .500
    • West, Hornets slip by Nets
    • Pacers rally past Nugs
    • Artest leads Rockets to win
    • Spurs fall in Duncan's return
    • Cavs win on LeBron's late FT
    • Okur leads Jazz over Warriors
    • Kidd dishes Mavs a win

    FOXSports.com analysis

    • Rosen: Odom must stay focused
    • Rosen: Which Knicks are keepers?
    • O'Connor: Marbury will spoil Celtics
    • Galinsky: NBA Power Rankings

    Video

    • Celtics react to Marbury signing
    • Marques: Cavs facing tough tests
    • Hill: Looking into Durant's future

    Photos

    • Hill: NBA's 10 most overpaid players
    • Hill: NBA's 10 most underpaid players

    It happened that after losing an extremely close and aggravating game to the Thunder, my players rode the rushing tide of the quickly exiting crowd and approached our locker room. However, the door to our space was locked, which meant that my sweating players had to stand in the hallway about a foot from the exit door waiting for someone to arrive with the proper key.

    To add to the problem, standard procedure in the CBA was for a team's warm-ups to be taken from the bench to their locker room minutes before the game ended. This was done to prevent theft.

    Worse still, the outside temperature was several degrees below zero. And because of the migration of the capacity crowd, the outside door stayed wide open.

    Plus, the jamming of the crowd through this one door created a solid wall of wrong-way traffic that prohibited the players from battling their way back into the relative warmth of the court itself.

    Freezing winds on bare sweating skins. I had visions of team-wide pneumonia.

    Because I was trailing my players, I succeeded with great effort in making my back to the scorers' table. With as much restraint as I could muster — which wasn't much — I explained the situation to a security guard. His reaction was to shrug and claim he had no idea who might have the key.

    I got the same reaction from the official scorer, who was still at the table collating the game stats.

    By now, I was irate. Pounding my fist against the table, I started shouting: "Who has the blankety-blank key!"

    Nobody knew nothing.

    Intent on kicking down the locker room door, I quickly wheeled around ... and tripped on a huge wrinkle in the cheapo rug, lost my balance, and was about to fall head-first into the first row of bleacher seats.

    But there was somebody sitting in my landing spot. A young boy, perhaps seven or eight, holding a plastic telephone. "It's for you, Charley," he said with a big smile.

    To avoid crushing the boy, it was all I could to stretch out my arms so that they straddled the boy as they crashed into the seats. I suffered severe bone-bruises on the palms of each hand, and I couldn't prevent myself from slightly brushing the boy with my left shoulder.

    The boy, of course, was frightened and started to cry.

    "Sorry," I said. But I was distracted when a maintenance man hurried past me with the key in hand.

    Okay, no harm done.

    Right?

    Wrong.

    Headlines in the local newspapers and the local telecasts claimed that I was raging mad after the loss. I was so angry, in fact, that I had assaulted a young boy in the stands.

    The league, of course, was ready to fine and suspend me. But I went unpunished when I told my side of the story.

    In my subsequent visit to Wharton, the fans weren't quite so friendly.

    After another "It's for you, Charley" routine, one loud-mouthed fan yelled this: "It's the state police, Charley! They want you to coach the team in Attica!"


    Author: Fox Sports
    Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
    Added: March 2, 2009

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