Judging from Lamar Odom’s outstanding all-around preseason after his performance for Team USA at the World Championships, it’s not much of a surprise that he’s been very effective during L.A.’s 5-0 stretch to start the regular season.
But 70 percent from the field? Or 80 percent from three-point range?
Nonetheless, Odom has converted 35 of his 50 field goal attempts, including eight of his 10 three-pointers, to lead the NBA in field goal percentage. He’s averaging 16.6 points, 11.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists along with 1.0 steals per game.
Toronto Raptors Coach Jay Triano was an assistant on Team USA’s gold-medal winning squad, and his praise for Odom couldn’t have been much higher.
“I thought Kevin Durant was absolutely fantastic over there, but I thought Lamar Odom was the guy that was the reason the team was successful,” said Triano. “He was the glue, he was the veteran, he was the guy that had won a championship before and he was the guy who was the anchor at the defensive end and it was the defense that won the whole thing for us.
“He’s just very valuable, a good teammate and I was really impressed with him as a person and as a basketball player.”
The last player to shoot 70 percent from the field through the first five games of an NBA season, with a minimum of 50 attempts, was Charles Barkley. Sir Charles converted 43-of-60 (.716) during the 1991-92 season in Philadelphia. The only other Laker to ever start so hot was Wilt Chamberlain, who made 49-of-70 shots across the first five games of the 1968-69 season.
Odom is a career 46.5 percent shooter, 31.8 percent from three, with his best season from the field coming in 2007-08 (52.5 percent).