Lamar Odom: The Key To The Lakers Championship

ctsports picksAnalyst IMay 28, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 27:  Lamar Odom #7 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts alongside teammate Pau Gasol #16 in the fourth quarter against the Denver Nuggets in Game Five of the Western Conference Finals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on May 27, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The real Lamar Odom showed up in Game Five of the Western Conference Championship after being a no show in the first four games of this series. In the first four games of the series the Lakers looked like a one man show with only Kobe Bryant showing up with consistent performances. Fortunately for the Lakers in Game Five Lamar Odom showed up with his best performance of the playoffs scoring 19 points and 16 rebounds. But Odom did not stop his great play on the offensive end, instead he was great on the defensive end changing or blocking several shots.

Now the series shifts back to Denver for Game Six and the Lakers try to close out the very dangerous Denver team. The Nuggets might have better overall talent that LA but at times they blow up emotionally costing themselves. Such outbursts have cost Denver at least five points in every game this series. Should be interesting to see if this high pressure game will make this team lose or gain focus.

The Lakers do not want to risk a Game Seven as the Nuggets have the offensive firepower to score 120 when they are on there game. The Lakers smell blood in the water and must close out Denver or risk being sent home before the NBA Championship. LA has been very good in Denver this year going three-to-two so far this year so do not expect the Lakers to let down in Game Six.

Without a doubt the swing player in Game Six will be Lamar Odom. Everybody knows what you get from Kobe Bryant and Paul Gasol but the Lakers need Odom to step up and take some of the big shots. Odom has a huge mismatch as the Nuggets do not have anyone that can guard the very athletic Odom. Watch out for a huge game from Odom as he now has confidence!!

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