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 Odom can be the star for the USA

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Magic Man13
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PostSubject: Odom can be the star for the USA   Fri Aug 13, 2010 7:04 am



NEW YORK (FIBA World Championship) - Lamar Odom has been singled out as they key man for the United States as they get ready for the FIBA World Championship.

The Los Angeles Lakers power forward brings the experience and rebounding ability that Mike Krzyzewski's young, small team is going to need in Turkey.

Odom, who won a second NBA title with the Lakers this summer, is with the team in New York this week but is not yet up to speed with his training, something Krzyzewski is eager to address.

"Lamar should be a key guy for our team," he said. "He has to use all these exhibitions to get into his game shape. He’s not there.

"But, he will be there. He’s a pro and an NBA champion. The fact he’s here is good, and it’s just a matter of getting his legs under him."

For his own part, Odom just wants to do whatever he can to help the team.

"If it helps us win, if I have to be in there really focused on rebounding and not shooting, then that’s what I’ll be doing," he said. "This is all about winning. Nothing else. If we find a combination that doesn’t include me, and we’re winning, then I’m cheering. At this point in my career, I’m just all about winning."

And Odom will have no problem with having the responsibility of dominating on the boards if that is what is needed.

"That’s the same type of thing I’ve done with the Lakers," he said. "I’ve had some huge rebounding games in arguably the best league of basketball, which is the NBA. It makes no difference where he needs me, how he needs me, what he needs me to do."

However, Odom will not be able to carry the burden alone, and veteran guard Chauncey Billups is trying to find ways to make a smaller line up work.
"I think our Achilles heel for the whole five weeks is going to be rebounding the ball," he said.

"We’re a small team, and we’re going to have to gang rebound. "When you’re playing against teams that have really big guys, it’s going to be everybody’s responsibility to get in there and rebound. "We feel like if we do that, we have a good chance to be successful."

If they can handle rebounding, Billups believes the United States can be an exciting team going the other way.

"The way this team is made, it seems you’ll have to play small to get more shooting on the floor. Does that fit in well to your strengths, being able to handle and play off the ball a bit?

"I think we’re going to go small all the time. We’re always going to pretty much play with two point guards on the floor. You’ve got two playmakers. That’s the hand we’ve been dealt and we’re going to have to play it well."

That is likely to hand a key role to Rajon Rondo, a player who has looked good to Billups so far.

"I’ve been very impressed with Rondo. He’s a winner. For me, that’s the ultimate compliment that I could pay a player, that they’re a winner.

"Of course everybody has their weaknesses and have their strengths, but overall I think he’s a winner. He passes. He’s an unbelievable passer, one of the best I’ve ever seen.

"As far as making plays and passing, he gets his hands on every ball. He’s a good player. He’s a winner."
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