L.A. Lakers: Has Pau Gasol Claimed Lamar Odom’s Title Of Mr. Inconsistent?

A bit of irony lost in the Los Angeles Lakers recent struggles is that forward Lamar Odom has probably been the most consistent player on the team, and surprisingly Odom has been the one Laker who has constantly showed up late in games.

That's right, Mr. Inconsistent himself has taken advantage of a summer spent playing in the FIBA World Championships where he was counted on for his experience and veteran leadership, and the confidence gained there has remained constant throughout the 2010-11 NBA regular season.

Odom's numbers of 15.5 points per game, 9.5 rebounds, and 56 percent shooting from the field are great, but what's even better is Odom's body language has improved, and there have been far fewer of the distant and vacant moments he is known for.

For possibly the first time in his career Odom seems to have found the passion and purpose that has been missing from his game, and he seems to understand his value in the Lakers' three-peat quest.

Maybe Odom can offer some advice and a few words of encouragement to teammate Pau Gasol, because he seems to have adopted the same inconsistent ways that have plagued Odom's career.

Gasol averages 18.4 points per game, 10.5 rebounds, and shoots 51 percent from the field, but there is another layer of truth beneath those glossy numbers.

Gasol started the season on a tear, and was even garnering serious attention for the MVP award, but recently he seems to have lost his wind and his confidence and the Lakers have suffered as a consequence.

If Kobe Bryant is the heart of the Lakers' perimeter game then the same can be said of Gasol in the interior, but lately he hasn't been living up to that mantle.

Coach Phil Jackson says Gasol looks tired, and fatigue may explain some of it, but it doesn't explain the periods of disinterest and passive play.

Gasol's skill set was made for the triangle offense, and ideal...

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