Lakers vs. Celtics Game 5: Lamar Odom Needs to Find His Heart, Hustle

"My heart don't pump Kool-Aid."

That was a popular phrase in my youth, which was used by peers when courage needed to be summoned in order to complete a task, and it was as much a battle-cry as a statement.

Kool-Aid coursing through a person's heart was a sign of cowardice, and in order to prove your worthiness one had to exhibit that the only fluid that ran through their heart was blood.

Someone needs to remind Los Angeles Lakers' forward, Lamar Odom, of the old adage, because after his heartless defensive performance in Game Four of the NBA Finals, his courage in the face of pressure is in question.

Odom recently told reporters that the Lakers don't win or lose based on his play, that he is just a cog in the machinery of the team, but in order for Los Angeles to have a chance in Game Five, Odom must change his train of thought.

No Lakers' fan would want the responsibility for a victory weighing on Odom's shoulders, because of his dreadful history in those situations, but due to Andrew Bynum's injury there may be no other choice.

Bynum has been the difference for the Lakers in the post because Boston has no player who can match his size and strength on defense or offense, and the Celtics were able to prosper when his minutes were limited in Game Four.

12 minutes from Bynum meant Odom and Pau Gasol would be the primary post players for the majority of the game, and the Celtics attacked each player mercilessly as Kevin Garnett and Glen Davis found new inspiration in the absence of Bynum.

Odom and Gasol were beaten off the dribble, in the post, and the Celtics shot over them, around them, or simply muscled past them in a barrage of fourth quarter forays to the rim.

I can understand Davis occasionally beating Odom in the post because he is a heavier, wider player, but there was no excuse for the quicker Odom to get beaten off the dribble as much as he did.

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