Los Angeles Laker Lamar Odom: Does the Term ‘X-Factor’ Still Apply?

Los Angeles Lakers forward Lamar Odom has always been described as an "x-factor" for his team, but the start of the 2010-11 season has seen him take steps to distance himself from that term, if it really ever applied to Odom in the first place.

In my opinion, an "x-factor" is a player who has a particular skill set that is used to take advantage of a certain situation or matchup.

The problem with labeling Odom as an "x-factor" is that his talent usually gives him an advantage in the majority of matchups he faces, especially when he plays with motivation.

It has long been understood that Odom has a tendency to disappear on the court at times, but it was equally understood that the Lakers didn't necessarily need him to win either.

The Lakers have shown they are talented enough to advance deep into the postseason with the luxury of an occasional Odom sighting, but when Odom plays with the level of intensity he has displayed so far, he makes the Lakers much, much stronger.

Odom has started this most recent campaign by averaging 15.8 points, 10.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and more importantly Odom is shooting 62.1 percent from the field and an amazing 66.7 percent from three point range.

Those numbers reek of efficiency, but the most impressive thing about Odom's recent play is the focused approach, and yes consistency, that he has displayed so far.

Most observers credit Odom's renewed passion with his experience this summer playing in the FIBA World Championships, where Odom was forced to assume a leadership position as one of the team's elder statesmen.

That may be true, but there was never any doubt as to whether or not Odom had the talent to excel, but until recently Lakers' fans had never had the opportunity to see how good their team could be with a fully motivated Odom.

For example, last night's 99-94 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves may have bee...

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