Ron Artest Suspension
May 7, 2011 by staff
Ron Artest Suspension, Ron Artest (notes) rounds of the Dallas Mavericks spark, JJ Barea (notes) can be the best thing that has happened to the Lakers. The NBA suspended Artest and now the Lakers will be without their star eccentric for a game in his attempt to come back from a 0-2 deficit.
Artest has been a puzzle piece inconsistent Lakers the last two seasons. When intensified, hitting their shots and play hard defense, Artest is one of the best in the league. The question is always the same goes for each game: What Artest will be on the floor this game?
Now, with Artest out of the picture it will be interesting to see how Phil Jackson changed his lineup. Jackson has been out coached in this series at this point and the Lakers big men have not had an answer for the Dallas Mavericks Dirk Nowitzki (notes) and Tyson Chandler (notes).
With Artest gone from the plant, this gives Jackson the opportunity to shake up his starting five and surprising the Dallas Mavericks with a game plan unexpected. The Lakers will most likely run Matt Barnes (notes) in the ground instead of Ron Artest and awaits physical principles. Is this the game right?
A better option for the Lakers is to get Shannon Brown (white) involved. Kobe Bryant’s Lakers can move (notes) and use Brown in the backcourt. The most difficult job for Phil Jackson is the limitations imposed by Derek Fisher (notes) in the soil and the lack of depth on the bench for the Lakers.
The best aspect of the suspension of Artest is that Lamar Odom (notes) is much action in this game and if you bring your A game, the Lakers will have the opportunity to take Game 3 of the series and make it respectable. If Odom allows Dirk Nowitzki to push, as it did in the first two games of this series, the Lakers have no chance.
Another subject of Phil Jackson has had to cope in the aftermath of Game 2 is Andrew Bynum (notes). Bynum stirring the pot in the post-match interviews for their response to innocuous question. Bynum aired the dirty laundry in public answering machine: “We have trust issues.” The Dallas Morning News reported Bynum added: “I mean I think it’s pretty obvious to anyone watching the match. Hesitation on passes, the defense will not be there for his teammate because he was not there for you before.”
You’ve been watching a lot and were deeper than usual in “Lakers” territory (Blogs, Forums, etc), after the victory in Game 2 against the Lakers on Wednesday. What surprised me was the fact that some fans are watching Artest’s suspension as a relief to his team because he has not played well anyway. More on that, the Lakers are playing better ball in the playoffs in terms of efficiency differential when Artest is on the bench (7.28) versus when in the field (2.78). His offense is suffering a bit, but the defensive efficiency is reduced from 108.39 to 99.11. So the Lakers are playing better defense with Ron Artest on the bench?
Most of the sample is from the series against the New Orleans Hornets. In this series of LA does play much better with Artest on the bench. This is because your bank to play much better against the background of a team the Hornets hit. In this series, although the bank is a major culprit of the 0-2 holes the Lakers are in. They have got a decent game so far Odom. That’s it. The 3B-Combo of banking (Barnes, Blake and Brown) did not produce at all. Barnes has a PER of 0.54 in the two games against Dallas, Blake -6.84 and four bench players who played for the Lakers could not really keep his PER of the regular season. By wide margins.
Thus, while generally in the playoffs for the Lakers play better with Artest on the bench most of the data is reminiscent of the Hornets in the series. In this series Artest helped the Lakers a lot. The right box shows the Lakers efficiencies, while Artest was on the bench.
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