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Lakers' Lamar Odom has had enough of opponents' trash talking

He is upset that the Lakers’ lackluster play has allowed teams to be extra confident against the defending champs.

March 10, 2010|By Broderick Turner, Los Angeles Times

The Toronto Raptors challenged the Lakers, doing a lot of talking in the process.

The Raptors dared the Lakers, strutting around Staples Center on Tuesday night as if they owned the arena, as if they owned the Lakers.

The Raptors mouthed-off to the Lakers, clearly not intimidated by the defending NBA champions.

All of that bothered Lakers forward Lamar Odom to no end, even though the Lakers defeated Toronto, 109-107, on a 17-foot jump shot by Kobe Bryant with 1.9 seconds left.

"Got dudes on the Raptors talking …," Odom said. "They ain't done …. You know what I mean? As a team, as individuals."

The Raptors have never won an NBA championship.

The Lakers won the franchise's 15th last June.

The Lakers have the second-best record in the NBA at 47-18.

The Raptors are two games above .500 (32-30) and are seeded sixth in the Eastern Conference.

In Odom's eyes, the Raptors could act with this cocky attitude because the Lakers allowed them to, because the Lakers have been looking weak.

The Lakers had lost three consecutive games before Tuesday night.

"Our disposition as a team gives like some of these dudes, they feel like they have the right," Odom said about the Raptors. "The way we're playing as a unit, they got dudes on their team that are talking …. They are like .500.

"But our aura comes off like ‘soft'. This was the second game I almost got thrown out. So I see one coming. I'm just going to take one, like, ‘hold up?' Our energy, we are so laid back right now that these teams are like…

"That … that [Orlando's] Matt Barnes pulled, that ain't never going to happen again," Odom said. "He's lucky it was a close game."

Barnes talked trash to Bryant, both of them getting technical fouls because of their behavior in the Magic's 96-94 victory on Sunday.

Barnes got in the face of Bryant, refusing to back down.

Maybe teams are seeing this as a way to go at the Lakers, to attack the Lakers.

When asked if Odom was right about the trash the Raptors were talking, Derek Fisher was slow to respond.

"I guess a little bit, certain guys," Derek Fisher said. "I think [Odom] is right in terms of it's a byproduct of what [opponents] see or what they feel.

"So when a giant appears vulnerable and there is a chink in the armor or there is an open wound, people have a tendency to kind of go at that. Thus far we haven't come across as invincible or unbeatable. So of course teams, their chests are going to be up a little bit more because they really believe that they can win."

To Odom, one way to stop that is to play defense, is to get rugged, is to win an ugly game.

Basically, Odom wants his team to stand up, to stand firm.

"Right now, we've got teams that are way too confident against us," Odom said. They are even doing that here."

broderick.turner@latimes.com

twitter.com/BA_Turner

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