Tag Archive | "nba finals"

Artest MVP of Game 7, thanks psychiatrist


Ron Artest became one of the heroes of the clinching game that gave the Lakers its second straight NBA Championship when Los Angeles topped the Boston Celtics 83-79 in a game that was ugly on the offensive side of the ball and tough as it comes on the defensive end.

Just saying Artest’s name in the same sentence as the word “heroes” is unexpected and against all odds, but the man scored 20, grabbed five boards and had five steals. Video posted on my Examiner.com column here.

On a night when Kobe Bryant had one of those games in which he couldn’t find his shot but tried anyway, Artest was the glue outside that held it all together. He was Mr. Outside with Pau Gasol playing his companion role of Mr. Inside.

Pau could have easily been chosen as the MVP of the series and on this most of important of nights, he shed his “Pau Gasoft” monicker forever. A game seven stat line of 19 points, 18 rebounds and four assists is manly, clutch and worthy of a trophy.

But let’s get back to Mr. Artest. A guy who kept his emotions in check all season and never allowed himself to get giddy about his place on the Lakers, let it all hang out on Thursday night.

His first moment as a Lakers player, in front of media at his introductory press conference he knew he had to be different and said:

“I am not in a position to do anything to win, or I’ll get suspended. I try to be as smart as possible and as aggressive as possible without being ejected.”

He thanked his shrink in his immediate post-game interview on the Staples Center floor. He mentioned her again when he met with the press. She helped him follow through on that day one intention. Lakers fans should send her a fruit basket, at the very least.

He fulfilled his promise to Kobe Bryant from 2008. Bursting into the Lakers locker room at the TD Bank North Garden in Boston after the Lakers lost the championship in soul crushing fashion, he found Kobe in the shower.

Then and there he sized up the situation and knew Kobe couldn’t win without someone else having his back.

Despite him still under contract for another team, Artest decided he was the man for the job and promised Kobe he would help him win a championship and soon. When the call went out for Ron during his free agency summer of 2009, he couldn’t believe his good fortune.

Kobe needed every one of his teammates to fill in the gaps in his game on Thursday night and Artest was the man for the job. Despite his childlike exuberance and stream of conscious orations, the man made good on his pledge.

All the audio and video clips today will highlight Ron-Ron’s random thoughts, his inability to filter himself on a night of pure joy. Yeah, he’s crazy but not the kind that hurts a team’s chances to be the best they can.

It was acknowledged by coach Phil Jackson who called Artest the MVP of the final game. And for Artest, that makes it all worth while.

Re-printed with permission of the author.

Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for Examiner.com and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in Los Angeles. 

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

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Lakers beat Celtics for 16th NBA title


LOS ANGELES, Calif. – A night of shooting 6-of-24, just 25 percent from the floor, many times spells disaster for Kobe Bryant and the L.A. Lakers but not in last night’s NBA Finals Game 7 against their hated rival Boston Celtics.

Despite sloppy play and the hideous night of shooting from the floor, when the final second ticked off the clock, Kobe and the Lakers celebrated an 83-79 win under a purple and gold confetti shower and hoisted their back-to-back NBA Championship trophy.

The win earned the Lakers their 16th NBA title overall and is Coach Phil Jackson and Kobe’s fifth with the team. Jackson has another 6-pack of rings from his days with Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.

The Celtics battled hard on the Staples Center floor, running up a 13-point lead in the second half and clinging onto a 3-point lead late in the final quarter, but the Lakers battled back in an exciting final few minutes and squeaked out the win on their home court.

This 16th NBA title for the Lakers moves them to within one of Boston’s NBA record 17 and Bryant didn’t pull any punches commenting on the rivalry:

“This one is by far the sweetest, because it’s them.”

Bryant, who was off his game and attempted several off balance ill-advised shots throughout the night, got much needed support and a chunk of it came from Pau Gasol who chipped in 19 points, including 9 in the final quarter, and 18 boards. Ron Artest, who earned his first ring, netted 20 points including a clutch 3-pointer late in the game.

Overall the Lakers shot about as bad as a team can shoot, nailing just 21 from the floor over the first three quarters while looking like they had attended a Ben Wallace free-throw clinic, barely hitting over 50 percent at the line.

Stats from the losing bench included Paul Pierce (18 points, 10 rebounds), Kevin Garnett (17 points) and Rasheed Wallace (11 point).

‘Sheed, the NBA’s guru of technical fouls, fouled out late in the game and attempted to get into the official’s locker room after the game but was not allowed access by arena security.

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

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Don’t blame refs for Lakers loss to Celtics in Game 2


What happened to the Lakers in the final few minutes of game two of the NBA Finals? Rajon Rondo is the answer. But that’s starting at the end of the story.

The Celts 103-94 victory wasn’t inevitable. The game could have gone either way down the stretch, but let’s just go back to the beginning.

Ray Allen created an NBA Finals record of seven three-pointers in one half. He left the court at half-time with 27 total points. The rest of the big four were lagging way behind with most of it due to foul trouble and some Lakers defense.

Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett were ineffective offensively and Rondo had not begun the heroics. The entire front line of the Celts was in foul trouble including back-up Glenn Davis, and yet the Lakers needed a three-pointer from Kobe Bryant to bring his team within six at half-time.

Thoughts for the home team at the half?

Well, how about putting a body on Allen, slow up on the outside shots that don’t drop and cause fast breaks led by Rondo, keep giving the ball to Bynum who was effective on both ends of the floor, send a search party for LO and tell Ron Artest to get his head in the game.

How did the boys in purple and gold do with that to-do list? Allen only had five more points the entire game, but managed another three-pointer, breaking the existing record of seven in an NBA Finals game.

Odom was still MIA, Bynum had a career night in a playoff game, Gasol and he blocked 13 shots between them and despite Artest dribbling more than a teething infant, the Lakers kept it close, even leading with five minutes left in the contest.

And then the Rondo show began. Kobe had five fouls and had to be as delicate as possible. The inside game of the Lakers was thwarted, turnovers were committed at the most inopportune times and Rondo was absolutely everywhere.

He was like Batman in “The Dark Knight”. You didn’t know what angle he was coming from but he was there to hurt you with scoring, passing and rebounds. With his second triple-double of the post season, Rondo made the Lakers pay.

Don’t listen to the critics who claim the officials tilted this game the Celts’ way. They punished both teams with fouls that were not there.

This was about no contributions from Odom and Artest, very little from Fisher, Kobe unable to score his average in the playoffs and Rondo emerging as the guy who can make the difference when two of the Big Four are absent offensively.

Now the scene shifts to Boston for Games 3, 4, and 5. The Celts haven’t defended home court as well as the Lakers this post-season and the Lakers have shown, against all their opponents in previous series that they can win on the road.

Game 3 starts Tuesday at 9 pm ET.

Re-printed with permission of the author.

Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for Examiner.com and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in Los Angeles. 

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

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