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Being more aggressive pays off for Clippers' Lamar Odom

CLIPPERS FYI

Power forward's output against Utah proves that he can still be a force on offense.

February 24, 2013|By Broderick Turner

When Lamar Odom is aggressive as he was on Saturday night against the Utah Jazz, the Clippers forward is "a nightmare for other teams because not too many power forwards in this league is going to be able to guard him," Chris Paul said.

When Odom looks to score as he did in producing a season-high 18 points against the Jazz, he "gives us a whole other dimension out there when he starts making those shots," Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro said.

And therein lies the rub for Odom — his seasons of whens.

When Odom gets in shape. When Odom becomes more offense-minded. When Odom displays the skills he did while becoming the NBA's sixth man of the year with the Lakers in 2011. When Odom shows the form that made him a two-time NBA champion with the Lakers.

But, Odom is in shape now after struggling with his conditioning earlier in the season.

He's rebounding the ball well — Odom is third on the Clippers in rebounds per game (5.8) while playing 20.3 minutes per game.

It's his lack of offense that has caused so much consternation among his teammates, coaches and Clippers fans.

Odom is averaging a career-low 3.9 points while shooting 39.7% from the field, the second-lowest percentage of his career.

"It takes time and it's humbling," Odom said. "All you can do is keep at it.

"I just stayed with it. You don't have no choice but to get better when you practice every day against Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan and Jamal [Crawford]. Everything that we do is intense. So time will come and hopefully it can stay."

The Clippers believe it can stay if Odom just looks for his shot more.

Against the Jazz, his eight-for-15 shooting was a season high in shots made and attempted. He was two for three from three-point range.

Odom had it going so well that Del Negro called a play for Odom during a timeout. Odom delivered, knocking down a three-pointer in front of the Clippers' bench, drawing cheers from his teammates.

"That was good to see," Del Negro said. "That looked like the Lamar Odom I remember."

Clippers looking to stay sharp

The 26-point loss to San Antonio on Thursday night reminded the Clippers how they have to remain sharp no matter the circumstances.

Griffin said it's about having the right mindset every game, something the Clippers had against the Jazz.

"Sometimes you can't control the missed or made shots, but you can control your intensity and your effort and the way you play defense and for each other," Griffin said. "Ultimately, that's the way that we have to be every night. ... We're not going to hit all of the shots. Other teams are going to put up shots, but as long as we're there and we're together rotating and playing hard, we'll be all right."

Etc.

The Clippers didn't practice Sunday, but players did go in for treatment and some workouts. The Clippers will resume practice Monday in preparation for Tuesday night's game against the Charlotte Bobcats at Staples Center.

broderick.turner@latimes.com

twitter.com/BA_Turner

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