: Winter thinks Odom will once again wind up starting for the Lakers this season.
"Odom has looked a lot better recently," Winter noted this week. "Thank goodness.
"He's a player. It's a shame when we don't get anything out of him. It hurts our team. But I wouldn't be surprised to see him back in the starting lineup."
It's obvious that among Jackson's many chores in putting the Lakers together in training camp is to find a way to get more out of the very talented, mercurial Odom. That certainly explains Jackson's "mind games" in asking Odom to come off the bench.
It's Jackson's way of challenging him to be more productive, more consistent, a problem that became obvious in June's championship series between the Lakers and Bostosn Celtics.
"I don't really know who's going to be starting," Winter said. "But it's just like Phil to search things out like this. But I think Odom will be in the starting mix."
Another of Jackson's decisions involves trying to use 7-footers Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol together, a lineup that leaves Winter skeptical.
"I don't know if the twin towers has ever been effective, has it?" he asked. "It kind of puts one of 'em (Bynum or Gasol) out of position, particularly defensively. That's what makes it tough."
The lineup seems even more problematic when you consider the fact that Jackson is trying to improve the Lakers defensively.
Winter, the longtime aide and mentor for Jackson, had these other observations about the Lakers in training camp:
• The Trevor Ariza Prize: "Ariza has been by far our best player. He's looked pretty good throughout camp. He's not a great shooter, but he's got lots of energy and length. He really picks us up."
• Legs, Legs, Legs: He wonders if Kobe Bryant's legs aren't worn out. "I don't know whether he's tired or those legs are dead. He's been on those legs a long time with the playoffs and then the Olympics. They might be dead."