The Lakers’ Biggest X-Factor

The Lakers’ Biggest X-Factor

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RON ARTEST

Houston Rockets power forward Luis Scola (4) and Los Angeles Lakers small forward Ron Artest (15) battle for the ball in the first half of their NBA basketball game in Los Angeles on October 26, 2010. The Lakers won 112 to 110. UPI/Lori Shepler Photo via Newscom

The Lakers acquired Ron Artest in the summer of 2009, and he was told to do one thing— play defense.  Artest had a very troublesome past, with brawls and suspensions, and many people believed he would ruin the Lakers’ chances of a repeat.

Artest was inconsistent early on last season, and was struggling trying to defend the top players.   However, as the season progressed Artest got situated with the team and began to play with more confidence.

When Ron Artest is playing well, the Lakers have an un-guardable duo in Kobe and Artest.  In Game 7 of the Finals Artest was perhaps the MVP of game, as he put up big numbers and hit clutch shots.

Artest in entering his second season with the Lakers, and he is averaging 11.0 ppg, and 4.9 rpg.   Artest is a valuable player for the Lakers, his lock-down defense and occasional three point shooting gives the team much needed help.

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Next: The Seven-Footer