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Clippers look for Lamar Odom to shoot more

Coach Vinny Del Negro says he wants the veteran 'attacking the rim.' Odom says he doesn't want to 'rattle the boat.'

January 26, 2013|By Broderick Turner
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PORTLAND, Ore. — The Clippers know Lamar Odom isn’t shooting the basketball well, but the team still wants him to take his shots.

They want Odom to be more aggressive on the offensive end. They especially want Odom to look for his shot more than he has.

Before the Clippers played the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night at the Rose Garden, Odom had taken a total of 200 shots, the ninth-highest on the team.

He’s making just 37% of his shots, 12.2% (six for 49) of his three-point shots.

But that doesn’t mean the Clippers don’t want Odom to shoot the basketball.

“I don’t want to rattle the boat,” Odom said after taking some extra shots at Saturday’s shoot-around. “Everything is good. There will be a time when it’s time for me to excel offensively and to pick up some of the slack. I’m working my way into it.”

Odom is averaging 19.9 minutes per game, more than enough time to get up enough shots.

In fact, the Clippers run some offensive sets through Odom, which allows him the freedom to get some shots.

“When he’s open and has good shots, I want him to shoot them,” Coach Vinny Del Negro said. “I don’t care what his percentages are. I want his confidence up. I want him attacking the rim.

“He’s been rebounding the ball well for us. He had four assists the other night. We know he knows how to play, but yeah, he needs to make some shots and he needs to be aggressive when he’s open to make the defense react to him more.”

Odom has been a force for the Clippers on the backboards.

He is averaging 5.9 rebounds per game, third-best on the team.

“It’s just focus,” Odom said. “And a lot of it is will when you’re getting the ball. Rebounding is important and it’s kind of the exclamation point on a good defensive play.”

Odom has lost a lot of weight and his game has become more solid.

He said he is making progress.

“Slowly but surely,” Odom said. “We had a great stretch. We had a 17-game winning streak. I’ll be better as time goes by.”

The Clippers were in the midst of a three-game losing streak before they played the Trail Blazers.

The Clippers haven’t lost faith and they still seem to be sticking together as a group.

“We’ve got great camaraderie,” Odom said. “And we’ve got experience, guys that kind of keep their cool. We’re doing what we love to do. So at the end of the day, everybody is happy.

“It’s part of the season. If you think about our record over the last 25 games, 30 games, it’s pretty good. But we have to focus.”

With Chris Paul out several games recently because of a bruised right kneecap, the Clippers have struggled with their half-court offense.

Odom said it can get better.

“We have to explore our third and fourth option out there,” Odom said. “You do that with ball movement, get off the ball, set good screens, get offensive rebounds and try to get a couple of easy ones.”

broderick.turner@latimes.com

Twitter: @BA_Turner

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