The “Los Angeles Times” reported on Friday that Los Angeles Lakers reserve forward Lamar Odom told reporters that he expects to be in the starting lineup as the Lakers head to Dallas to take on the Mavericks Friday night in game three of their second round series. The NBA Sixth Man Of The Year Award recipient would be starting in lieu of Ron Artest who was given a one game suspension by the Association on Thursday.
Artest was charged with a Flagrant Foul 2 after squeezing Dallas guard Jose Juan Barea by the face in the closing seconds of Wednesday night’s contest between the two teams. Artest was immediately bounced from the game and subsequently received the one game suspension without pay. Dallas heads into Friday night’s contest leading Los Angeles 2-0 in the best of seven game series with the next two games in their home arena. There was speculation on Thursday that the Lakers would start Matt Barnes in place of Artest but apparently head coach Phil Jackson liked his team’s chances better with a bigger lineup.