Lamar Odom hadn't played 10 minutes in a game until Sunday against… (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles…)
Seven games into the regular season, and Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro still isn't sure what he's going to get from Lamar Odom.
"No, not really," Del Negro said.
Odom played double-figure minutes in the first two games but hadn't played more than 10 minutes until Sunday against the Hawks, when he played 11 minutes 29 seconds.
Odom, who played a season-low four minutes against the Cleveland Cavaliers, played just the last 3:21 of the game after playing about eight minutes in the first half.
He had missed the last two weeks of training camp because of a bone bruise in his left knee, but he hasn't missed a regular-season game.
When told that Del Negro said he has lost seven or eight pounds, Odom said he wants to get back to a playing weight of "230" pounds.
"I want to get back to where I'm carved up again," Odom said.
Odom knows it won't be easy to lose the weight or get in better game shape because his minutes are so low.
"I'm taking steps in the right direction, and that's all I can do," Odom said. "It's all about staying positive and understanding the big picture. I can't get it back in a day or two days. It takes time. I'll just stay the course."
Butler is solid
In his previous two games, Caron Butler didn't score in double figures, and his rebounding has been subpar all season.
After Del Negro talked with Butler on Friday, his small forward was up to the task against the Hawks.
He scored 13 points and had a season-high six rebounds.
"He responded really well," Del Negro said. "He rebounded it well.
"I just want to see consistency from him and everybody. It's not just Caron. But we're working through it a little bit with him."
Chauncey Billups, still recovering from surgery to repair a torn left Achilles' tendon, may return to play at the end of this month after the Clippers return from a four-game, seven-day trip. It's possible that Billups might play against New Orleans on Nov. 26 or Minnesota two days later.
Grant Hill, dealing with a bone bruise in his right knee, probably won't be able to play until sometime around Christmas.