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Shoulder Pain Nearly Keeps Odom Out

Rookie Lamar Odom has had to carry a lot on his shoulders this season, and the wear and tear of being a Clipper has taken a toll.

Odom nearly missed a game for the third time this season when his sore right shoulder kept his availability in doubt until game time Monday night. Odom had been playing with the injury for at least the last two months, but the pain has become a major problem, and he’ll be examined again today by team doctors.

“It’s been killing him,” interim Coach Jim Todd said of the Odom’s shoulder. “Seems like whenever we finally get things back together, something else happens.”

Odom didn’t start against Houston, but he came off the bench to score 20 points and grab 11 rebounds while playing his second consecutive game exclusively at point guard.

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This season, the Clippers have started four players at point guard.

Troy Hudson was given his 38th start of the season when he opened the game Monday. But he has been more of a fill-in because of the unavailability of Eric Murdock, currently on the injured list with an ankle sprain.

Todd said point guard has been a problem for much of the season and that’s why they are trying Odom there now.

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“We just need somebody to run the point . . . not to just play the point,” Todd said. “We want somebody to run it and set people up, that’s what we are looking for.

“Troy and Charles [Jones] have filled in, but it’s been point-guard-by-committee with Murdock out. None of them are true point guards. They have all given it their best shot, I’m not knocking any of them. But they are all scorers first.”


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