While Lamar Odom's statistics this season (6.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and a 9.27 PER) aren't much to look at, losing him for the season is still a tremendous blow for the Dallas Mavericks.â†µ
It's no coincidence that Dallas is 0-7 without Odom in the line-up, and the team will sorely miss his length, athleticism and play-making ability at the backup 3 and 4 positions.â†µ
While Brian Cardinal is his nominal backup, Odom's absence will likely cause some major line-up reshuffling.â†µ
Dirk Nowitzki, who has been averaging only 33 minutes a night, will see his minutes go up, while Rick Carlisle could move either Brandan Wright, who has been a revelation this season, or Shawn Marion to the backup power forward position.â†µ
That in turn will give Ian Mahinmi more minutes as the backup 5 and Vince Carter more minutes as the backup 3, which should ease the logjam in the back-court where five players (Carter, Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, Delonte West and Rodrigue Beaubois) would need to fit in four spots now that everyone is healthy.â†µ
Neither Marion nor Wright can effectively create their own shot, which means the Mavericks will need to lean on Carter to create more offense. While he no longer has the athleticism of his younger days, he's still a crafty player who is capable of using his long 6'6 frame to score out of the post.â†µ
It's hardly an ideal scenario, as the Mavericks now have two weeks to solidify a rotation before the playoffs (hopefully) begin.â†µ
Update: Dallas is bringing up Kelenna Azubuike, a 6'6 220 wing they had assigned to the NBDL, to replace Odom's spot on the roster. However, he hasn't played in the NBA since the 2009-2010 season, and given his poor production for the Texas Legends, it's unlikely the Mavericks will have time to get him back to speed with so little time left in the season.