Blog Entry

Lucky? Stoudemire shouldn't have gone there

Posted on: May 18, 2010 6:26 pm
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – Amar’e Stoudemire wasn’t able to come up with anything on the court to stop Lamar Odom from having a dominant 19-point, 19-rebound performance in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals. So on Tuesday, he came up with an excuse.

“I’m not giving him no hype,” Stoudemire told reporters before the Suns practiced at Staples Center. “He had a lucky game.”

Among other things, Stoudemire is known for his quotability. In a “Twitterview” with NBA media this week, I asked him how far Cleveland would’ve gone if he’d been traded there instead of Antawn Jamison. True to form, Amar’e came through with a one-word answer: “Championship.”

Beautifully done. He may or may not be right about that. But when it comes to Odom, he’s dead wrong.

And foolish for saying it.

As exhibited in the Lakers’ 128-107 victory in Game 1 Monday night, Kobe Bryant is going to get his numbers in this series. With 40 points – 35 of them by the end of the third quarter – Bryant enjoyed his sixth straight 30-point playoff performance. He seemed to relish the Suns’ strategy of trying defending him with 37-year-old Grant Hill. Bryant called that challenge “enjoyable,” and by that, he meant, “Get this old man away from me before I embarrass him.”

Whether it’s Hill or Jason Richardson or Jared Dudley, the Suns have no one who can check Bryant with any semblance of success. For that reason alone, this is going to be a long series for the Suns – or a short one, depending on how you look at it.

But to a man – including Stoudemire – the Suns have insisted that the key to challenging the Lakers is preventing Bryant’s supporting cast from hurting them. This did not go well in Game 1, with Odom’s monstrous game leading a 44-35 scoring advantage by the Lakers’ suspect bench over the Suns’ reserves, who were supposed to have been a key strength going into the series.

“[Bryant] is gonna score,” Stoudemire said after the game. “That’s one thing he’s gonna do. We know that, so we’ve got to make sure we try to contain him a little bit more. But we’ve got to close out the other guys. We’ve got to do a better job on their role players.”

The two sources of consistent production for the Lakers during their title defense have been Bryant and Pau Gasol. Andrew Bynum has been in and out of the box score. Derek Fisher has made some big shots and has held up better than anyone anticipated against three prolific point guards – Russell Westbrook, Deron Williams and now Steve Nash.

But during their run of postseason success in the past five years, Odom’s performance has been a tipping point for the Lakers. When he plays well, the Lakers usually win. When he plays like he did Monday night, the Lakers almost never lose.

With the possible exceptions of Bryant and LeBron James, Odom is as physically gifted as any player who’s come into the league over the past dozen years. It’s often a question of motivation, but there’s no doubting his talent.

“I’ve played with Lamar for a long time, so I wasn’t impressed,” said Ron Artest, who grew up playing with Odom on the playgrounds of Queens, N.Y. and in AAU ball. “I’ve seen him do that all the time.”

So why any opposing player would want to ignite the one area of Odom’s game that is lacking – his motivation – is beyond me. Stoudemire should know better than to rattle Odom’s cage, and he should know better than to say his performance Monday night was an aberration.

The Lakers are 9-2 this season when Odom has 15 or more rebounds, including a 17-point, 19-rebound game against Houston in January and a 10-point, 22-rebound effort against Portland in February – both wins. In his postseason career with the Lakers since the 2005-06 season, the Lakers are 7-2 when Odom has 15 or more rebounds. Four of those nine games have come against the Suns, and Odom scored in double figures in all four, as well. In those games, the Lakers are 2-2.

But even if Stoudemire forgot about those games, surely over the past five years he’s noticed at least a handful of Odom’s 47 games with 15-plus rebounds since he put on a Lakers uniform. If not, maybe he’s seen highlights of one or two of his 174 double-doubles as a Laker. During the same five-year period, Stoudemire has 28 games with 15-plus rebounds and 156 double-doubles. How many of those were luck?

After throttling Stoudemire and the Suns’ supposedly improved defense in Game 1, Odom wouldn’t engage him in a war of words Tuesday.

“I’m not gonna do that,” Odom said. “Not when it comes to basketball.”

As for his performance, Odom said, “It was good. Could be better. Hopefully I can have another lucky one.”

Since: Oct 3, 2006
Posted on: May 19, 2010 8:37 pm

Lucky? Stoudemire shouldn't have gone there

He will fold like a wet paper bag. He got 19 boards in a game that was decided by the 3rd quarter. Lets see what happens when the game is actually on the line. He will vanish like always 

Since: Oct 3, 2006
Posted on: May 19, 2010 8:34 pm

Lucky? Stoudemire shouldn't have gone there

Odom shows up half the time, got 19 boards in a game that was decided by the 3rd quarter. Lets see what happens when the game is actually on the line. Odom will vanish when it counts. Lets see how this game is actually officiated as well, the first game it really didn't have an affect seeing it was a blowout. The Lakers won't shoot the percentage they did in game one as well. Should be a good one. Suns take this one series on, Lakers win series over..... Just calling it like I see it

Since: Dec 14, 2006
Posted on: May 19, 2010 7:03 pm

Lucky? Stoudemire shouldn't have gone there

Note to Amar'e - when someone has just thrown you over his knee and spanked you in front of millions, calling them out is a pretty stupid thing to do. Yup, all 19 of those rebounds must have magically (and luckily) bounced right into Odom's hands.

It's one thing to lose, it's another to get pounded, and even another to get pounded and come across looking like a classless crybaby. Time to grow up big guy.

Since: Apr 9, 2010
Posted on: May 19, 2010 6:47 pm

Lucky? Stoudemire shouldn't have gone there

I agree.

Are the Suns and Amar'e Stoudamire stupid? They are adding to the Lakers fuel. Don't think Kobe didn't hear this either. The Lakers just gave them a 21-point whoopin and now they want to give the Lakers more motivation? This is not a smart idea.

Since: Mar 7, 2008
Posted on: May 19, 2010 6:18 pm

Lucky? Stoudemire shouldn't have gone there

Who are Peirce, Iglidado, Nowitski, and Gasul?  Are these friends of yours, or are you too ignorant to know their correct names?  Best to stick with all capital letters.  I think you got those all right.

Since: Jun 13, 2009
Posted on: May 19, 2010 6:01 pm

Lucky? Stoudemire shouldn't have gone there

I think its clear why the Cav's chose Jamison over Amare. Sure Amare has some skills but professionalism and character, thats something that meathead can't buy with his bloated salary. This is the playoffs, conference final. You don't talk smack against a team like the Lakers. I can understand his frustration being ousted in the playoffs constantly by the Lakes. I guess you can't buy patience either.

Since: Jun 10, 2009
Posted on: May 19, 2010 5:13 pm

Lucky? Stoudemire shouldn't have gone there

Ha last time i checked when a guy grabs 19 rebounds it's not luck. 

Wasn't Amare supposed to be guarding the Candyman anyway?? If he was getting soooo lucky when he was soaring over you for every rebound, then why didn't you do someting about it???

Oh yeh that's right cause your a soft defender. Thats been your downfall your entre career. Pheonix knows it, why else would you try desperatly to trade a 20-10 guy. 

Amare is about as good a defender as Paul Gasol (who sucks) which is why Odom is gonna continue to eat him alive all series. And why the Suns will probably get swept or lose in 5.

Grant Hill Can't guard everyone 

Since: May 24, 2008
Posted on: May 19, 2010 5:03 pm

Lucky? Stoudemire shouldn't have gone there

Amare is an idiot.  Not only does his team get thoroughly destroyed in game 1, but then he goes and gives Lamar and the Lakers motivation to do it again tonight and make it personal.  Maybe you should worry about your own team before you start talking trash about another one.

Since: Feb 5, 2009
Posted on: May 19, 2010 4:58 pm

Lucky? Stoudemire shouldn't have gone there


I agree with you about Odom being the 4th best on LA team.   But Odom doesn't even belong to that 2nd group of gifted players (Rose, Brand etc..) because these guys are at one point or currently the franchise player, Odom never had.   Also to Berger - How do you defined physically gifted anyway?   Is it how fast you run, how high you jump?  I doubt it very much Odom is that gifted.
I'll give Berger that Odom is someone rare with that height, length who possesses basketball skills of smaller players.   But as far as top 3 in the NBA, Berger was kidding right?

To me, even with all Odom's skill, he's still the 3rd option on any championship caliber team.

Also, go easy on Stoudemire, Odom did have a great game in game 1 to pull in 19 rebounds.   Let's look at Odom's career average even as starter, it's nowhere near 19 rebounds a game, in fact, it's less than 1/2 of 19.  So, if Odom did 100% better than his average, then he had a great game, but there's also of luck involved.   Let's say the law of average works out, then the next 3 games Odom may have just 21 total (to make that 40 over 4 games).

Again, if anyone more than double his average, then there's at least a little luck involved.

Since: Sep 5, 2008
Posted on: May 19, 2010 4:27 pm

Lucky? Stoudemire shouldn't have gone there

Ture to form, the bigmouth with NO ring, trying to out mouth someone with a bit more class AND RINGS.  I guess if you can't produce, with offense and defense, on the court you do it in the Twitter court.  According to the article, Odom HAS the 15 rebound games, HAS the double doubles for the past five years, and HAS the RINGS (and again that's not RING, it's RINGS).  I am by no means a Lakers fan, and probably wouldn't root for them if my brother played for them, but when you see it you have to salute CLASS, and here ODOM showed it while AS showed something entirely different.

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