Replacing the production of Lamar Odom is an absolute impossibility for the Lakers. LO and all the things he did so well went out the door in unceremonious fashion as the man known as The Goods was given a one-way ticket to Dallas. That trade has been a sore spot for the Lakers. Kobe Bryant openly questioned it and the bench has not looked the same since.
But help is on the way in the form of Andrew Goudelock. The rookie is progressing much faster than anticipated and his recent play has been an eye opener.
In four of his last five games G-Lock has gone off for double figures. When Odom was in town that was the norm but these days getting a Laker in double figures off the bench is like Jennifer Aniston getting an apology from Angelina Jolie.
Known as a shooter coming out of College of Charleston, Goudelock is making the transition to playing point guard in the NBA. His shooting stoke is still there, that will never change. It’s been his growth as a ball handler that has been truly impressive. Last night in Denver, G-Lock was getting minutes during crucial times in the contest. He maneuvered his way out of traps, showed some nice handles and above all else didn’t commit costly turnovers.
While his ball handling is improving it is Goudelock’s decision making and distributing duties that must continue to improve. Being a lead guard in the NBA means being a quarterback on the court. It has become routine to see veteran players and every member of the coaching staff to pull G-Lock aside to offer words of wisdom.
This is a learning process for the entire team so naturally the same applies to Goudelock as a rookie.
One thing Goudelock is learning is how to add to his offensive game. He’s got a nice stroke but has added a runner in the lane and the ability to pull up off the dribble. No doubt some of those moves being mimicked by what he sees from KB24 in practice everyday.
Going forward the Lakers will need a consistent contributor off the bench. Relying on a rookie can be a gamble but at this point its one the Lakers have to take. There is no timetable for Steve Blake’s return so Goudelock’s minutes will remain where they are for the foreseeable future.
He might not be The Goods but Goudelock has got some goods that can help make the Lake Show a title contender.