Tag Archives: Ron Artest

Craig Sager postgame interview with Ron Artest

Nobody does better postgame interviews than TNT’s Craig Sager.  After interviewing Kobe Bryant following the Lakers’ Game 5 win Thursday, Sager caught up with the clinically insane Artest.  The goal: Get some sort of an explanation from Artest on why he took a 3-pointer with 22 seconds on the shot clock and the Lakers up with a minute remaining and the Lakers up by three.

The end of the interview was absolutely priceless. Artest:  “Say Queensbridge!” Sager: “Queensbridge, where they don’t play with a 24-second clock.”

Game 6 should be a blast.

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This is Ron Artest’s game-winning layup

Ahh, the joys of Ron Ron.  Artest had an awful game, took a bad 3-pointer late in the game to help leave the door open for the Suns, but his second basket of the night lifted the Lakers to within one win of the NBA Finals.

Jason Richardson got caught watching the ball in the air and stopped playing.  He said after the game that he thought the ball would hit the rim, but that’s no excuse for not putting a body on somebody.

Defenseless: Adjustments the Suns need to make in Game 3

Amar'e has been at the center of the Suns' defensive shortcomings against the Lakers. (Cal Sports Media/Pic via everyjoe.com)

Throughout the broadcast of Game 2 between the Lakers and Suns Thursday night, TNT analysts Charles Barkley kept hammering home a simple point: the Suns are simply too small to beat the Lakers. Citing Steve Nash’s comments, Barkley astutely pointed out that the Suns probably aren’t going to get taller during the series.

We hear you, Chuck.

Even though the Suns aren’t going to get any bigger, it’s very obvious that they could (and should) do a few things differently in Game 3 Sunday.

The Suns need to play with more effort and more intelligence on the defensive end.

Pau Gasol is absolutely abusing Amar’e Stoudemire, who hasn’t gotten in a defensive stance during his entire NBA career. Gasol is a tough cover for anyone; he has incredible footwork and a wide-array of post moves. But he had at least six layups/dunks during Game 2 thanks to bad rotations by the Suns and horrible pick and roll defense by Amar’e.

At some point, it has to become a matter of pride. Amar’e believes in himself and his ability to dominate on the offensive end. The Suns need to make a better effort to get him the ball and see what he can do. Even if Amar’e doesn’t hit shots, he needs to at least make Gasol and Lamar Odom work on the defensive end.

If Amar’e isn’t aggressive offensively, he might as well be on the bench. He brings no value to the Suns.

A little more effort from Amar’e could limit Gasol to around 20 points. That would be enough to give the Suns a pretty decent chance, especially at home.

Aside from Stoudemire’s struggles, Alvin Gentry’s strategy to double-team Kobe in Game 2 clearly backfired. Kobe looked comfortable from the opening tip, finishing with 21 points and a playoff career-high 13 assists.

When the Suns doubled, they left the wrong people open. Ron Artest is capable of hitting standstill corner 3’s. Derek Fisher has made a career out of it.

The Lakers are simply too good to double team Kobe. Just play him straight up with Grant Hill or Jared Dudley, make him work, and hope that he slowly starts to lose his burst as the series drags on.

How long with series last? The prevailing sentiment after Game 2 is that the Suns have no chance. But the Suns aren’t going to stop scoring–the Lakers probably won’t get 120 again in Game 3. Role players tend to play better at home–meaning Shannon Brown and Jordan Farmar are unlikely to replicate their strong numbers in the first two games.

How often does a road team score 107 and 112 points on the road and lose? Frankly, it shouldn’t happen.

Time to man up, Phoenix.

Odom’s aggressiveness helps Lakers lead at the half

Odom has made his presence known with a 15 point outburst to help the Lakers to a 62-55 lead at the break. (Pic via atthebox.wordpress.com)

Lamar Odom has provided glimpses of greatness throughout his inconsistent NBA career.  Odom came to play against the Suns Monday, scoring 15 points and grabbing eight rebounds off the bench.  The Lakers outscored the Suns by 12 with him on the court and lead by seven at halftime of Game 1.

Kobe came out aggressive and looks quick after his extended layoff.  He scored 14 points on 4-of-10 shooting in the first half while being defended mostly by Grant Hill.  The Suns are making Kobe work, so it will be interesting to see if he tires late in the game.

Amare Stoudemire leads the Suns with 15 points.  Steve Nash has been quiet, posting six and six in the first half.

Here are some additional observations:

-Jason Richardson hit two 3-pointers early but was quiet for most of the half.  Leandro Barbosa played very well in Richardson’s place, scoring five points in 10 minutes of action.  He could get more run in the second half if J-Rich doesn’t contribute early.

-Kobe looks great.  He is wearing a sleeve over his troublesome right knee.  Having missed a week of practice, it will be interesting to see if he holds up

-Channing Frye had no impact in the first half, at least not positive one.  The Lakers did a good job of running him off the 3-point line and took advantage of his skinny frame by going inside.

-Ron Artest is shooting the ball well.  He isn’t quick and looked uncomfortable in the post against Jason Richardson, but he is very active defensively.  Nine points, four rebounds and three assists is a pretty impressive line.

-Why are Ron Ron’s shorts so damn short?  He prefers shorter shorts than most NBA players, but his Game 1 look is pretty astounding.  He is a big dude–a big, scary, clinically insane dude.

-The Lakers are playing the Suns pick and roll very effectively, so much so that Phoenix went away from it late in the first half.  If Nash and Richardson hit some shots early in the second half, things should open up.

-Bench play has been fairly even so far, thanks primarily to Lamar Odom.  Goran Dragic can really ball; he isn’t afraid of the moment and has a huge advantage against Jordan Farmar and Shannon Brown.

-Sasha Vujacic saw a few minutes and did nothing good, fouling Grant Hill on a 3-point attempt at the end of the first half.  Adam Morrison is not in uniform–sadly.

-Andrew Bynum had an impressive dunk early in the game but is clearly laboring.  Meanwhile, Robin Lopez scored eight points in the first half in his first game since late March.  His presence is huge for the Suns.

It should be a great second half.  We’ll have analysis, video, and sound after the game.

Stay tuned.

2009-2010 ToTheTin NBA Awards

LBJ had another fantastic season. (Pic via pictureshere.com)

The 2009-2010 NBA regular season has come to a close, meaning it’s time for the second annual ToTheTin NBA Awards Presentation, sponsored in part by the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library. Someday, these awards will symbolize the highest level of recognition of NBA players, coaches, and management from an established sports website—someday.

Most Valuable Player—Kevin Durant

Durant became the youngest player to ever lead the NBA in scoring while leading the Thunder to a 50-32 record and a playoff berth. No player made more of a difference for his team in 2009-2010. Runner-Up: LeBron James

Most Outstanding Player—LeBron James

It’s hard to argue with 29.7, 7.3, and 8.6 while leading the Cavs to the best record in the NBA. LeBron is clearly the best player on the planet
Runner-Up: Kevin Durant

Defensive Player of the Year—Dwight Howard

Superman version 2.0 led the NBA in rebounds and blocks while propelling the Magic to another solid regular season. Changes the game as a defender even though he is still learning to play hard consistently.
Runner-Up: Marcus Camby

Rookie of the Year—Tyreke Evans

The steady Evans averaged 20 points, five boards, and five assists during his rookie season. He will be an All-Star for many years, especially if he improves his jumper. Stephen Curry has been getting more love lately, but plays in a ridiculous clown system that produces inflated numbers.
Runner-Up: Steph Curry

Sixth Man Award—Jamal Crawford

The shoot-first Crawford played under control while leading the NBA in fourth quarter scoring. He provides a explosive scoring option that could push the Hawks deep into the playoffs.
Runner-Up: J.R. Smith

Coach of the Year—Scott Skiles

Skiles has a knack for rubbing people the wrong way. He also has knack for getting the most out of limited talent. The Bucks finished 46-36 with a bizarre cast of characters, including flashy rookie Brandon Jennings, 67 year-old Jerry Stackhouse, and journeymen John Salmons and Luke Ridnour.
Runner-Up: Scott Brooks, Nate McMillan (tie)

Most Improved Player—Aaron Brooks

Brooks improved his scoring average by over eight points this season and averaged five assists in his first full season as a starter. The Rockets had a surprisingly decent season, thanks in large part to the clutch play of the jitterbug guard.
Runner-Up: Russell Westbrook

Executive of the Year—Danny Ferry

Ferry managed to give LeBron a good deal of help in the offseason, adding Shaq along with solid role players Anthony Parker and Jamario Moon. The Antawn Jamison trade could prove to be the difference in the postseason. Ferry is a lock for this award next year if he manages to hang on to LeBron.
Runner-Up: Kevin Pritchard

Knucklehead of the Year—Andray Blatche

Lost in the wake of the Gilbert Arenas gun scandal, the Wizards suspended Blatche for insubordination/being a selfish jerk three times this season. Blatche clinched this award when he attempted to secure his first career triple-double by racing downcourt, intentionally missing a shot, and trying to grab the rebound in the closing seconds of an easy win over the Nets. Imitating Ricky Davis is never a good idea.
Runner-Up: Nate Robinson

The Isiah Thomas Award—Joe Dumars

This award, given to the NBA’s worst GM, goes to Thomas’ former backcourt mate, Joe Dumars. Joe D stockpiled shooting guards and overpaid for selfish volume-shooters Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva. The Pistons had a brutal season and are a complete mess.

The Tim Floyd Award—Mike D’Antoni

This award, given to the worst NBA coach, goes to the overrated Knicks headman. A team filled with idiots made his job very difficult, but unlike most NBA coaches, D’Antoni has some clout—meaning he won’t get fired if he stands up to his players. Al Harrington and Nate Robinson are lost causes, but Danillo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler can still be saved. As always, defense is optional with D’Antoni in charge.
Runner-Up: Eddie Jordan

Smith's neon yellow sneaks are beyond gaudy. (AP Photo/Pic via sneakernews.com)

The Janet Jackson Award—J.R. Smith

This award, given the NBA player with the worst wardrobe, was hotly contested but goes to J.R. Smith. It’s hard to miss those neon yellow shoes—and mysterious red dots tattooed on his neck, which kept multiplying as the season went on. Young Money.
Runner-Up: Ron Artest’s short shorts

The James Posey Award—Manu Ginobili

Manu wins for his eradication of a bat on Halloween night—an impressive display of physical dominance against a helpless creature—not unlike tripping Kirk Hinrich.
Runner-Up: Dahntay Jones

The Larry Bird Award—David Lee

This award, presented to the NBA’s best American-born white player, goes to David Lee, a double-double machine. Lee has claimed this award for the last three seasons, an impressive run of dominance to say the least.
Runner-Up: Chris Kaman

The John Stockton Award—Anderson Varejao

This award, given to the NBA’s most annoying player, goes to the charge-drawing machine, Anderson Varejao. Nobody is better at taking a dive than Varejao.
Runner-Up: Tyrus Thomas

The ‘Sheed—Kendrick Perkins

This award, given to the angriest dude in the NBA, goes to young Kendrick Perkins. Nobody looks quite as angry as Perkins, who furrows his brow constantly during games, pushes players needlessly after fouls are called, and yells at officials when he doesn’t get calls. He is learning from the master.
Runner-Up: Kevin Garnett

Artest, Jennings make Dennis Rodman proud with new hairstyles

Vince Carter obviously couldn't read the characters in Ron Artest's new 'do, which say "defense" in three languages. (Pic via LATimes.com)

Phil Jackson wanted increased focused on the defensive end from his Laker team, and he got it–until the game started at least. Ron Artest’s latest hair style features the word “defense” inscribed in purple characters within a Laker-gold dome. The inscriptions are in three different languages: Hindi, Hebrew, and Japanese. The early returns on the Rodman-esque masterpiece are not good–Vince Carter dropped 25 noisy points on Ron-Ron Sunday to lead the Magic over the Lakers.

Jennings debuted his "red stripe" fade in Saturday's win over the LeBron-less Cavaliers. (Pic via jsonline.com/AP)

Brandon Jennings has worn some crazy-ass fades since he burst onto the scene in high school a few years back. He topped it all Saturday when he took the floor in Milwaukee with a look that would make the Steve Urkel and skunks across the world proud. His new ‘do features his customary high-top fade with a red stripe down the middle. Jennings hit five 3’s en route to scoring 25 points to help the Bucks win for the ninth time in 10 games.

I wonder what Scott Skiles thinks of Jennings’ new look?

Flip mode: Ariza to Rockets, Artest expected to sign with Lakers

Artest and Kobe Bryant could soon be teammates.

Artest and Kobe Bryant could soon be teammates.

The Houston Rockets have reached a contract agreement with Trevor Ariza, Yahoo! reported Thursday night.

A source said the Rockets will sign Ariza to a multi-year contract.  Terms aren’t known, although it is believed Ariza will make the mid-level exception ($5.6 million) in the first year of the contract.

Meanwhile, Ron Artest is reportedly on the verge of signing with the Lakers.

ESPN reported the Lakers offered Artest a three-year, $18 million contract Thursday.  Artest’s agent told the Associated Press the two sides had reached a “verbal agreement” but terms hadn’t been finalized.

These developments came out of nowhere.  Cleveland was said to be pursuing both players, but it wasn’t known the Lakers had even the slightest interest in adding Artest.  It remains to be seen how Artest will impact the pursuit of Lamar Odom.

Quite honestly, the Artest signing doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

Ariza is a perfect fit for the rebuilding Rockets.  He has modest career numbers, but at 24 his best days are still ahead.  Replacing the aging, injury-prone, unreliable Artest with a younger, more athletic player is clearly a smart move.

The latest free-agent buzz has the Cavs looking at Anthony Parker.  Rasheed Wallace is expected to sign with Boston, but could also end up in Cleveland or San Antonio.