Lamar Odom didn’t come to training camp in very good shape last season with the Dallas Mavericks after they acquired him from the Lakers. He wasn’t in great shape this season after the Clippers got him from the Mavericks in a June 29 trade.
The difference this time is he’s found a comfort zone that includes considerable support from Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro. Slowly but certainly, he’s become a useful member of the team’s second unit, recording a season-high seven points in Monday’s win over Utah.
“I just want Lamar to stay the course right now,” Del Negro said Tuesday, the day before Odom faced the Mavs for the first time since the deal. “He’s in here early working out. He’s in here late working out. You can see his timing coming back a little bit. You can see his lift coming back just a little bit. … He’s here every day. He’s grinding it out.
“He knows he has a ways to go, but you can tell when he’s out there he makes a difference for us and it’s only going to get better if stay with the process. I think he’s very comfortable where he’s at. He’s not very comfortable with his game and that’s why he’s out there. We have a lot of faith in him and I think it’s going to pay dividends down the road.”