Odom Hampered by Foul Troubles
Having been called for at least four fouls in 10 of 13 games, Lamar Odom acknowledged Saturday that he has not been as assertive as usual for fear of picking up what he termed “ticky-tack fouls.”
“I have big guys on me trying to cut me off, and they’re calling charges,” said Odom, the forward who was whistled for his fourth foul Friday midway through the third quarter of the Lakers’ 109-106 loss to the Sacramento Kings at Staples Center. “I’m picking up two petty charges a game.
“When you’re getting ticky-tack fouls, it can take away your aggressiveness on defense, around the ball. On loose balls, in the back of your mind you’re thinking you don’t want to go too hard because you might pick up a foul. Sometimes you find yourself being pushed because you don’t want to push back too much because it might be a foul.”
Odom has picked up five fouls in five games, limiting his effectiveness in the fourth quarter as he tries to avoid a sixth foul that would result in disqualification.
Odom’s foul trouble might partly explain why his averages of 14.5 points and 34.8 minutes are slightly off the pace he set last season with the Miami Heat (17.1 points and 37.5 minutes).
“It seems like the referees are kind of unsure of what they want to call a charge,” Odom said. “This is the first time I can remember when I’m getting charging fouls on bigger guys. I’m definitely right now frustrated about it, but I just have to keep playing.”
While acknowledging that Odom has been the victim of questionable calls, Coach Rudy Tomjanovich said it was up to the forward to make an adjustment.
“I think he’ll find his way out of them,” Tomjanovich said.
Tomjanovich praised the fourth-quarter play of Jumaine Jones, whose late three-point basket from the corner Friday gave the Lakers a 105-102 lead over the Kings.
Jones, who made two of three three-point attempts, finished with 10 points and six rebounds in 24 minutes in his second game back from a strained right calf that forced him to sit out six games.
“It was awesome,” said Tomjanovich, who had Jones guard Sacramento sharpshooter Peja Stojakovic. “The guy was doing the job and I felt confidence in him.”
Said Jones: “That’s what you live for, the opportunity to get a chance to play, especially in a game that’s close like that. The opportunity to hit big shots ... any athlete would feel good about that.”
Kobe Bryant talked his way into a rare practice session, playing with his teammates for a good chunk of the afternoon before Tomjanovich pulled out the All-Star guard to rest his chronically sore left foot. “I’d rather the guy rest,” Tomjanovich said, “but he wanted to do it, so we compromised on it.” ... Fans are encouraged to donate books before tonight’s game for the Florence Avenue Elementary School library in Los Angeles in memory of the late broadcaster Chick Hearn. All fans donating books at Star Plaza in Staples Center will receive a Laker pin as well as stickers to adhere inside the books stating that they were donated in memory of Hearn.
vs. New Orleans, 6:30, FSNW
Site -- Staples Center.
Radio -- KLAC (570), KWKW (1330).
Records -- Lakers 7-6, Hornets 1-10.
Record vs. Hornets -- 1-0.
Update -- The Hornets, already without All-Star guard Baron Davis, suffered another blow Friday when center Jamaal Magloire broke his right ring finger and was lost for an indefinite period. Tomjanovich called playing a short-handed team “dangerous,” saying “we can’t let the psychology get to us.” The Lakers saw their 33-point lead against the Hornets in New Orleans on Nov. 9 whittled to seven before recovering for a 106-98 victory. The Lakers play at Milwaukee (3-7) on Tuesday and at Chicago (1-9) on Wednesday before returning home to face Golden State (3-9) on Friday at Staples Center.