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(Yahoo) For Artest, Lakers, easy comes and goes

Discussion in 'NBA Dish' started by gfab-babyboi, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. gfab-babyboi

    gfab-babyboi Contributing Member
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    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=AjT5tPNJaHJR28fYVGAv6Hk5nYcB?slug=jy-artestlakers060710

    LOS ANGELES – Got to look at the tape, Ron Artest(notes) said. He sat in front of his locker trying to make sense of how the Los Angeles Lakers had come apart, and, yes, this would seem to be a subject on which he could speak with some conviction. If there’s a universal authority on the subject of coming unhinged, it’s Ron Artest.

    No matter. The questions kept coming, and Artest kept giving some variation of the same answer.

    Got to look at the tape.

    Maybe it’s that simple. Maybe the Lakers cued up the video on their flight to Boston Monday and saw how they unraveled in the fourth quarter of Game 2 of the NBA Finals, how Rajon Rondo(notes) seized control of the series for the Celtics, how the officials saddled Kobe Bryant(notes) and Lamar Odom(notes) with five fouls. Maybe they learned a few things and come back with a better plan for Game 3.

    But somewhere in the film, Artest inevitably made his own appearance. Late in the game, clock ticking down, Lakers trying to make one final, desperate push, he dribbled, hesitated, dribbled some more … dribbled some more … dribbled some more … and finally hoisted a long jump shot that missed. He appeared to wander aimlessly during the possession as if he were dribbling crop circles into the court. And for this, there is no answer, no solution, no 48-hour fix.

    This was Ron being Ron, and that’s why the Lakers will forever worry.

    Said Lakers coach Phil Jackson: “It’s one of the more unusual sequences I’ve ever witnessed.”

    The Houston Rockets will likely laugh at that, as will the Sacramento Kings, Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls. They each lived with Artest’s eccentricities until they couldn’t anymore. But none of them had to dance with him on this stage. None dared to bring Artest to the NBA Finals.

    This is what the Lakers got when they essentially swapped Trevor Ariza(notes) for Artest in the summer. The lows can be tortuously low and the highs can be tremendously high, as when Artest grabbed Kobe Bryant’s miss and banked in a shot at the buzzer to beat the Phoenix Suns in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals, saving, perhaps, the Lakers’ season. Two nights later, Artest scored 25 points to help Bryant push L.A. into the NBA Finals, and Jackson had just one explanation for the remarkable performance.

    “The Lord,” he said, “was with him.”

    The basketball gods were smiling on Artest and, deep down, Jackson knew it wouldn’t last. It never does with Artest. He played well in the Finals opener, harassing Paul Pierce(notes) and contributing 15 points on 10 shots, and afterward everyone wanted to talk about how he’d spent $18,000 to give a pair of random fans courtside seats and motivated himself by listening to swing music. But then came Sunday. Artest again locked up Pierce, but he also wreaked havoc on the other end of the floor, taking 10 shots and missing nine of them. Too many times, he rushed the Lakers’ offense – or dribbled it into the ground – when Pau Gasol(notes) and Andrew Bynum(notes) were having their way inside.

    Artest wasn’t the only culprit. The offense also stagnated with Bryant, and a quick whistle by the refs seemingly put half the Lakers’ rotation into foul trouble. Odom played just 15 minutes and now has only eight points and nine rebounds in the series, raising questions whether he’s again haunted by the Celtics ghosts of two years ago. Had Odom been more productive or been able to stay on the floor, perhaps Jackson wouldn’t have felt the need to play Artest 41 minutes.

    The Lakers’ fortunes can change for the better just as easily with a change in the officiating crew. Bryant will likely see his mistakes and Ray Allen(notes) isn’t likely to throw in another eight 3-pointers. But what the Lakers can’t predict – what no one can predict – is Artest. He’s forever the Great Unknown, a dynamic defensive talent who can just as easily disrupt his own team’s offense. The Lakers have long been used to Odom drifting in and out games, but they can’t survive with both of their forwards going AWOL.

    Jackson attributed Artest’s bizarre antics at the end of the game to Artest trying to “redeem himself,” perhaps for a forced pass he had thrown away earlier. This speaks to Artest’s hero complex and why he’s prone to follow one mistake with two or three more. He always wants to impress. His success from the preceding three games only stirred his urges. This is also why the Lakers will try to convince Artest his defense on Pierce can be contribution enough.

    “I’ll have a conversation with him,” Jackson said.

    Artest was already looking ahead to Game 3. He didn’t know what he had done wrong, if anything, but he was sure he’d find the answers somewhere in the film.

    “I think I need to look at the tape to see if I can improve,” he said.

    “Trying too hard? I don’t know that I was trying too hard. Maybe just play better. Basically, play better – team-wise first and individually second. … I’ve been through this already, where I had a bad game and then I bounced back the next time.”

    The Lakers have this much going for them: Nothing ever stays too bad or too good with Artest for too long. Cue the tape and the string music. Two nights and 2,600 miles later, maybe the basketball gods start smiling again.
     
  2. vinsensual

    vinsensual Member

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    I bet the refs had some inside joke going where if Ron gets the ball and starts dribbling, don't blow a whistle, just sit back and watch the show.
     
  3. Depressio

    Depressio Contributing Member

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    Yes, yes they will. And us, as fans, will too. LOL @ Ron's dribble-dribble-dribble-dribble-FIRE possessions.
     
  4. Bandwagoner

    Bandwagoner Contributing Member

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    If not for the tip in, Ron would be under bigtime fire right now.
     
  5. Rocket River

    Rocket River Member

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    . . . and the 25 pt game
    . . . and the defense on Paul Peirce
    . . . and his defense last series
    . . . and him helping his team to the finals
    . . . . . . .


    Rocket River
     
  6. pacmania

    pacmania Member

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    and the defense on kevin durant , and the defense during the utah series.

    screw the media , they don't know half of what they write. They conveniently forgot to write that the shotclock was running down on that possession, ron was trying to pass the ball but none of the lakers were open as the celtics stifled the passing lanes.

    Ron was a big part of their win in game one. When he gets his feet set on a shot he is a pretty accurate shooter and has pretty good form on his shot. He is just not someone who can get his shot off under duress. But he is one of the more reliable set shooters from long distance.
     
  7. REEKO_HTOWN

    REEKO_HTOWN I'm Rich Biiiiaaatch!

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    O'RLY? looks like Kobe was pretty open to me LOL!!

    <object width="640" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/8VDHPTVt3aw&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/8VDHPTVt3aw&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="640" height="385"></embed></object>
     
  8. WillG

    WillG Member

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    Not really his defense, pierce has just been sucking like KG.
     
  9. Bandwagoner

    Bandwagoner Contributing Member

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    Nope. Without that tipin they would have turned on him.
     
  10. vinsensual

    vinsensual Member

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    I don't think the shot clock was running down either.
     
  11. Pull_Up_3

    Pull_Up_3 Member

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    lmao
    defense on pierce?
    Pierce has just been playing like crap nothing to do with ron's defense
     
  12. J.Will.Xu

    J.Will.Xu Member

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    Ron's defense is way worse than LeBron James, who did a terrific job defensively on Paul Pierce and made him work harder to get points in the game.

    Also offensively, Ron's been a non factor so far into this series and he still can't find his spot and shooting touch, his shooting slump looks to continue if he doesn't make adjustments. His spectacular performance against the Suns in game 6 of WCF is only a with-o-the-wisp.

    Watch out Lakers, it's a 3-game road trip in Boston where the majority of them hates the Lakers from the bottom of their hearts. Hope to see a game 7 in LA if possible.
     
  13. Codeo

    Codeo Member

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    I watched the game again last night, and recall the shotclock being at around 8-12 seconds. That's not media bias, that's just terrible basketball.
     
  14. DaDakota

    DaDakota If you want to know, just ask!
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    So glad he is gone.....SOOOOOO glad.

    DD
     
  15. viertelasiat

    viertelasiat Member

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    No, more importantly it was the game clock and the Lakers were down by 9 or something around that I believe.
     
  16. Easy

    Easy Boban Only Fan
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    I watched game 2 with a bunch of Lakers fans. The funny thing was, whenever Artest got the ball on offense and showed a little hint that he wanted to shoot, the guys were all like, "Noooooo!"

    LMAO
     
  17. Air Langhi

    Air Langhi Contributing Member

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    I think the celtics are just a better team. The lakers were very fortunate last year with yao, tmac, kg being out and they took advantage of it.
     
  18. Easy

    Easy Boban Only Fan
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    Well, the ball did end up in Kobe's hands and resulted in 3 points. :grin:

    BTW, the shot clock had about 11 seconds left when Ron took the shot.
     
  19. Ziggy

    Ziggy QUEEN ANON

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    Oh no, he made a weird comment, not Artest! Oh noooo. Oh no, he made a mistake in an offense with a 2yr learning curve where must also accommodate the NBA's best scorer. Oh no, oh no. LOL. I am making fun of you guys a little yes. Just kidding though. The Lakers are too talented not to be able to live with Artest's deficiencies.
     
  20. pacmania

    pacmania Member

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    I stand corrected on that. But if i recall correctly there was a sense of urgency at that stage probably was the game clock running down.

    my point is there are a lot of more crucial turning points in the game. That was not one of them. Among the more important turning points , kobe getting into foul trouble, and derek fisher not dictating the tempo. even fisher seemed more of a ball hog on that night and was also 2 of 8 from the field. Fisher seemed out of control most of that game on the offensive end, and he has more responsibility as a point guard for setting the tempo of the game. Ron artest seemed unselfish for most of the game he just didn't make a lot of his open shots. The type of forced shots he took with the lakers pales in comparison to his stint with the rockets.

    I disagree that artest had a hero's complex in that particular game( because apart from that isolated play he was under control most of the game) and that the "Lakers will try to convince Artest his defense on Pierce can be contribution enough."



    If they are going to beat the celtics they are going to need both artest's defense and offense like in game 1.
     

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