Ron Artest has played two of his best defensive games in a row now against al-star caliber players in Carmelo Anthony and Danny Granger locking both of them up in back to back games. Jeff Van Gundy called his effort against melo the "best he's ever seen ron play defense". According to ron and his teammates, he has lost some weight and his speed is picking up allowing him to get up on guys more often.
Against Melo, Ron got into his head and had melo looking to go one on one every play down forcing the issue to the tune of 7-19 shooting and 8 turnovers while ron picked up 6 steals.
Against granger, Ron again got into him and held him to 9 points on 2-9 shooting and 4 turnovers while ron picked up 5 steals.
Is the former defensive player of the year back to his locking guys up ways?
not just the last 2 games. espn showed the past 5 or more games on how well hes played defense. the Plantar Fasciitis isnt bothering him as much as it used to since its healed a lil more. hes doing exacly what we brought him to l.a to do, which is a main reason i say we are heading to our 2nd straight title
If the blazers get the eighth seed and Oden back healthy watch out.....
is oden considered for the playoffs? Either way, the blazers are a very dangerous team and it would be a lot of fun to see these two teams go at it in the playoffs. The blazers treat the lakers like a playoff game every time anyways, it would be nice to see how it would go down with the lakers playing with that same intensity.
yeah that wouldbe a interesting series. i doubt oden would be even a lil factor. coming back from a injury while only being in youre second year and in bad shape. i dont even think he is scheduled to come back this season anyway. the only teams thta have a slight chance is denver or dallas. we will be playing one of them int he conference finals
I would be reallllly shocked if the WCF didn't come down to two of Dallas, Denver, or LA. Getting Caron was so huge for Dallas because before I def didn't consider them for the WCF but now they have a very legit chance to go as far as they want.
heres somehing interesting for dallas fans
Damps contract has wording that says he basically has to average 30 minutes a game this season, which is not going to happen... when that occurs, none of his contract is guaranteed for next year making him EXTREMELY attractive this summer, mainly because you can trade him and his $13 million and the acquirring team can cut him without oweing him a dime... so Dallas is primed to take on another player or two this summer.
by s kyler
The Western conference playoffs has me really excited. Whoever OKC gets should be the most exciting series in the first round. I would love to see a Lakers-Thunder 2nd round matchup, I think that would be a war.
we would sweep okc. lets not get out of hand with the excitment of how they are playing..lol but i would like to watch it
Q, I agree a sweep is possible, but I would expect the first 3 games to be close, and then OKC loses energy and gets blown out in game 4. This year the teams have played 3 times I believe, and OKC took them to the end twice. If they played I would take the Lakers for better team as well as experience, but I definitely think OKC wins one in OKC, so Lakers take it in 5. If you ask me OKC is slowly becoming like playing in Utah, really hard to play in.
There is a chance Oden returns for the playoffs. He's ahead of schedule and has been a beast during rehab. He hasn't gained any weight, etc. He'd definitely have at least "a little" impact if he returned... I doubt he returns, but there's a chance. I'd keep him out until next season though considering his injury history, but if his doctor says he's good to go... He's good to go.
I'd love to see a first round matchup between the Lakers and Blazers. The fans would really be into that one lol.
Artest has defended well the last few games, but I still don't think he's the defender that he was when he played for the Pacers. He's lost some quickness on the perimeter. Now he's more about strength, intimidation and trying to bully people.
I doubt the Lakers would sweep OKC, but it wouldn't be much of a series. The Lakers' front court is too much. I think the play of Durant and Westbrook could get them at least one or two wins though.
Also, throwing this out OKC, LA, Portland, and Dallas are the only 4 teams in the West with winning road records, Utah is at 500. If anything road record is the most important stat come playoff time. In a 7 game series if you can win 1 road game, and all of your home games, that's 4 wins.
i just dont see what impact he could have. youre under estimating the impact of not playing in actualy games. yea riding bikes is cool or running up and down on the floor alone is coll but its not close to actually banging in a game on top of the mental aspect of worrying about youre injury which every person that has been injuried does. and how the confidence (especially for a young player) plus the banging that goes on in the playoffs and being out of game shape even if you havnt gained any weight.
i wouldnt buy to much into some of the regular season stats. come playoff time for the vet teams its a whole new ball game. teams that you may have beaten in the regular season get much better and more intense come playoff time. there has been years when teams have beaten up on the lakers but come playoff time they get swept or win one game. same with the spurs. you can never under estimate how different it is in the playoffs and how much harder it is to beat a team int he playoffs( vet team) that you beat in the regular season. most of the vet teams are like "whatever"during the regular season while some of the younger ones go all out liek its already playoff time and cant get to that next level because they are already playing at that level in the regular season where as the vets turn it up a notch because this is now for all the marbles
Nelson returned in the Finals last season and he at least had "a little" impact.
Oden is a big. His impact would be using his size and strength... Rebounding, defending and taking fouls. He could definitely have an impact in that department, especially considering his team doesn't have a lot of size. His conditioning won't be up to NBA game shape, but it's not like they'll ask him to play 30 minutes. I think he could play 10-15 minutes per game.
yeah i think it would be a sweep or close to it...they have nobody to throw it in the post...i mean all artest needs to do is keep durant from scoring huge numbers and i think we are ok....or maybe its westbrook we have to watch out for...lol
The Lakers don't always play hard though, especially against teams they know they can beat... OKC is good for at least one victory. The longer they leave Fisher on the floor to defend Westbrook, the longer the game stays close.
Artest I believe would have a harder time containing Durant than he would Melo and to cover Westbrook won't be easy he is young and athletic and tall, so whoever guards him will have a tough time, the Thunder will definitely struggle in the post, though I definitely think if they were to play in the 2nd round the Thunder are capable of winning 1 game.
yeah..in the regular season...okc can beat them and compete in the regular season. come playoff time is when the lakers step it up. pretty much even the nets can take a game from the lakers in the regular season. id be mad but wouldnt be suprised. and sure artest couldnt shut down durant but durant would have alot harder time scoring then he usually does with the banging. artest has actually said hes a easier guard then melo because hes not as strong and doesnt bang as much nor goes down low much. i think it would be a clean sweep but youre right they could win a game. everyone is capable of winning one game
Artest can defend basically every perimeter player except for lebron.
Artest defended Granger unbelievably well last night, and Granger pretty much plays the same style of game Durant does and has similar size and athletic ability. I think Artest can guard any elite wing player to the point where they have to work incredibly hard to score and get good shots.
I think between him and Thabo Sefolosha, they are the best perimeter defenders in the game right now.
Oh, and I think the Thunder would be good for at least 1 win in a head-to-head playoff series with OKC. They have a little too much firepower and the Lakers aren't really a dominate team on that level to just sweep them with a top 5/6 player on their squad
the reason lebron would give him more porblems then the other guys is because he's just as big maybe bigger then artest but hes also very strong and much faster and a very good ball handler. durant is a good ball handler but will struggle alot more then lebron if hes crowded by a artest who is also strong. same with melo and granger which is why artest can play very good defense on them. and yeah the lakers are that good in the playoffs to do that. this okc team is not better then the denver team that the lakers sweep a couple seasons agoe...as a team. lets not forget the lakers are the best or one of the top defensive teams in the nba and they play alot better int he playoffs. with artest causing durant more porblems then he's used to on top of the lack of okc'splayoffs experience( which is bigger then alot of fans give credit for) between bynum/gasol/and odom down low, i think will hurt okc much worst then people think. i honestly dont even think they will get past the first round which isnt bad. it will just give them that experience that they need to be better next year
Durant is way more athletic than Grangers lol at whoever made that comment but Artest is getting it going so hopefully he is up to speed defensively and offensively and if OKC can get matched up with anyone but denver, Dallas, and Lakers they have a good chance at winning that serious. San Antonio is on their last legs and Phoenix is not much of a defensive team or one that pounds it but Amare will get his points obviously. Utah is solid but have clinks in their armor and so does Portland.
i cant see how he is way more athletic then granger. by watching them i cant see it. i know durant is longer but both are pretty quick. not sure about both jumping..ill have to go check out the draft measurment stuff because just by the eye test i dont see durant being way more athletic
I think they're about equal athletically. Durant is just one inch taller and so much longer... He also has a longer stride and covers more ground with his steps.
yeah i was thinking the same thing