Post-game Reactions

That’s what we have been hearing for the past few days, right?  Ron Artest will limit Paul Pierce on the offensive end and Artest is a much tougher guard than Vladimir Radmanovic. You know, things that are all true… except when they are not.

Paul Pierce garnered a poor reputation for not being able to score against bigger/more physical players in one series with Cleveland, despite a career that proves otherwise.  In six games against the Cavaliers this post season, Paul Pierce averaged 13.5 points all while expending most of his energy guarding a guy who some consider the best player on the planet.

If I know one thing to be true in this world, it is that Ron Artest has never been considered the best player on the planet.  Ron Artest has never even been considered the best defensive player on the planet.  Ron Artest has been named to the NBA All Defensive First Team and the NBA All Defensive Second team each just twice and won the Defensive Player of the Year Award once.

Those numbers do not scare me.  Do you know how many NBA All Defensive First Team awards it would take to scare me? Try 8.

Some of Artest’s numbers that are even less imposing come from the other side of the ball.  In this year’s playoffs, Ron Artest is shooting 42% from the field, 27% from deep and 61% from the line (per Basketball-Reference.com).  Those are Richard Jefferson post-season numbers (49%, 20%, 76%).  So this begs the question: Are you concerned about Richard Jefferson?

These numbers also do not even take into account that to Paul Pierce, Ron Artest is nothing if not a known entity.  Many of both Artest and Pierce’s prime years were spent going at each other and in a player on player comparison, Pierce easily got the best of Artest overall.  This morning, Zach highlighted Pierce’s recent stats against Ron Artest and they were pretty flattering:

18.8 PPG, 43 percent shooting (46-of-107), 36 percent from three (14-of-39), 52 free throw attempts.

That type of production would be welcomed with open arms regardless of who was guarding Pierce.

This post was not to diminish what Ron Artest is capable of making Pierce do and what he is capable of doing on the offensive end.  Artest is a very good player who plays very hard.  I just believe calling Ron Artest the key to the series is a bit premature.  I think any definitive statement about that must be reduced to an indefinite one.

Despite the hype, Ron Artest has not shown up for the playoffs yet.  Limiting the league’s top scorer in Kevin Durant to 35% shooting for the series is nice but this is another case where the Belichikean “Stats are for losers” mantra comes into play.  While Durant shot well below his regular season average,  C.J. Miles (43% regular season, 44% playoffs), Grant Hill (47% regular season, 48% playoffs), and Jason Richardson (47% regular season, 50% playoffs) all shot better.  Did Artest play worse defense on those three players than he did on Durant?  Is it possible Durant had a bad series?  Is it possible Artest absolutely shut down Durant?  The answers to those questions are: No, probably not; Yes, it is possible; and Yes, it is possible.

Finally, this brings us back to the original point.  How could I even compare Radmanovic to Artest?  Because the Ron Artest from the 2010 playoffs shot just about the same as the Vladimir Radmanovic from the 2008 playoffs (44% from the field, 37% from three, 88% from the line)- only better, of course.

Ron Artest is not Vladimir Radmanovic and will make Paul Pierce’s day immensely tougher.  But just remember, he’s not LeBron James either.

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  • Pierce will feel things out for a while, but by the 3rd game he will be in Artest’s head which really isn’t all that difficult considering Artest is not playing with a full deck to begin with. He is a good defender but not near what he was a couple of years ago. He matches up physically however Pierce will out think him and therefore out–execute him.

  • DeVelaine

    Not playing with a full deck… I think that’s a nice way of putting his “limitations.” The man seriously appears to be a prime candidate for an extended stay in a “padded hotel.” But I can’t recall a single off-the-court incident involving him, so maybe the persona is for on the court only, perhaps a way to keep himself locked into the game.

  • We sure hope Ron Ron goes crazy this series!


  • Korey

    I love the spin.

    Please repost this after 2 and after 4 games in the series to see the Artest effect.

    Oh yea, the Kobe comparison is invalid, sorry. While Kobe can guard Pierce, Pierce is stronger and has the advantage there. And as you might’ve noticed, Kobe has a lot more responsibility night-to-night.

    This is why LBJ is a bad comparison. Yea he guarded PP. When he wasnt worried about scoring 30 pts, getting 10assts, 10 boards , guarding Rondo, and blocking shots in transition.

    This is a singular focus and attack by one player against another. Artest need not do nothing but make Pierce’s life a living hell.

    You guys want Pierce to light up Artest AND defend Kobe in spots? Good luck.

    As Pierce even said, its’ different now that Kobe doesnt have to run around and guard Pierce then Allen then Rondo in a circus type act. Containing Kobe will be that much difficult. AGain, good luck.

    PI know it’s gettn overload but it’s true:
    If Artest spearheads a defense that holds Pierce to that 43% (or Kobe’s 40% from ’08) shooting this series, the Lakers win.

    Plain and simple.

  • Korey

    Here’s to Kendrick Perkins and a Ron Artest Double Technical Foul!

  • I love Green

    Thank you Brendan!

  • MP

    ZOMG KOBE can’t be stopped he’s the BEST EVAIRE!!!

    …except just about every time he’s played the Celtics since 2007.

  • Ersatz

    Thanks for writing this. I’m feeling good about the Pierce-Artest matchup. I’m sure Artest will get the better of him a couple of times, but I think Pierce is going to do really well in this series, for a bunch of reasons: Pierce tends to play well in LA (games 4 and 5 in 2008 are the best back-to-back playoff games I’ve seen a Celtic play since 1986); Pierce is smarter and more aggressive at scoring when he needs to be, and with the matchups Ray and/or Rondo and KG and Perkins will be having, he’ll need to be; in at least a couple of games Pierce will draw early fouls on Artest; Pierce seems to have recovered his mid-range game and when he’s got that going, he’s too difficult to guard, for anyone.

    Lastly, and this is total homer speculation: Pierce is motivated to be thought of as a top-three Celtic, and a second MVP trophy would do that, at least in his mind and many others’. A motivated Paul Pierce is way dangerous.

  • Korey

    I usually dont say bloggers are “idiots” and I’ll refrain here. It’s a simple mistake. I feel like you guys do the job that most of us wouldnt mind doing which is talk sports all day.

    But seriously, the contradiction:
    ” … Artest has never even been considered the best defensive player on the planet.”

    ” Ron Artest … won the Defensive Player of the Year Award once.”

    Think about…that sequence you just wrote.

    Doesnt DPOY mean you are the best at , i dunno, defense for that year.

  • I think, for comparisons sake, you should compare those numbers (8 games of Artest vs. Pierce) to how Pierce did against Radmanovic/Walton in the 2008 finals (6 games)

    21.8ppg, 43% FG (38 of 88), 39% from three (11 of 28), 53 Free throw attempts.

    It looks like Pierce averages less points(3 fewer per game), shoots worse from three (36% vs. 39%), and gets to the line less frequently against Artest (52 attempts in 8 games vs. 53 attepmts in 6 games) than he did against Radmanovic/Walton.

    In other words, Pierce will still get some points but he’s a HUGE upgrade defensively from Radmanovic.

  • I meant Artest is a HUGE upgrade over Radmanovic

  • joe

    @Korey, Put Kobe on Rondo like they did in the 1st meeting & he puts up 21 12 & 5 boards on 56% shooting , put him on ray & he has to run around a million screens. So whoever they put kobe on he’ll have to work. LAL has yet to face a team who has threats from PG SG AND SF. Even if ron slows pierce down, LAL has no answer for the now vastly improved rondo.

  • Korey


    I wont say Rondo isnt a problem. I’m not a idiot.

    If Rondo averages 21pts , 12 assists a game this series, you will win and he’ll be Finals MVP.

    I dont see it though. Not when the scouting report is in and we force half of that 20+ to be from long range.

  • joe

    so even if Pierce shoots 43% by no means does that guarantee a Laker title.

  • joe

    @Korey, how will LAL force him to do that when nobody else has? He has learned to counter when teams lay off him.

  • No it ceratinly doesn’t joe. All I was saying is that Artest is a HUGE upgrade defensively over Radmanovic and he “shot just about the same as the Vladimir Radmanovic from the 2008 playoffs” according to the post.

    Artest IS a big upgrade over Radmanovic when you compare the numbers.

  • joe

    @Korey, oops. I meant to say how will LAL force him to do that when nobody else has consistently? He has learned to be efficient & productive when teams lay off him

  • Jason

    I’ve been trying really hard to think of what really concerns me about this series and basically, not much. Artest/Pierce? Advantage Pierce. Rondo/Ray vs. Kobe/Fisher? Advantage Cs. Fakers D? Yawn. Fakers O? Sure they’ll have some runs, but the Cs D is a buzzsaw compared to what the Fakers have faced so far. HCA? No, Cs are awesome on the road. Benches? Advantage Cs. Coaches? Honestly, Phil doesn’t concern me and Doc’s really impressed me this year actually.

    So what worries me?

    The possibility that everything Gasol throws up goes down? A little, but not much. Probably more concerned that he goes to the line too much.

    Lamar going 6th man of the year? Possible, but KG’s got plenty of skill, motor, smarts and toughness to deter or even deflate Odom methinks.

    Fisher can go on occasional shooting streaks, but that’s about it.

    Please Kobe keep taking hero shots. No one seems to remember that two of the Lakers big, uh lucky, wins came on offensive boards off a Kobe brick and a Kobe airball.

    Odom and Artest killing the Cs? Please. Odom might make a slash/drive from time to time, but not often, which means both these guys will be left to do damage from the outside. Good luck.

    My top fears are injuries (though the Cs should be fine by Game 1) and refs (though I can’t imagine it worse than the Orlando series).

    My truest fear is the yet not understood reason why the Cs self-inflict their own offense with time-wasting, bogged down terrible play when games are close. For 3 quarters they’ll play their normal, loose, efficient offensive game. If they’re up big, well good. If down big, they continue to play loose/fast to maximize possessions. But, close games, they guard each possession so closely they strangle their own offense. They walk the ball up the court, waste seconds, go iso, and usually have a TERRIBLE possession. So basically, execution in close games is my biggest concern and could easily cost the Cs a game or two.

    But all told, I only have one big concern and it’s a conditional concern at that. Otherwise, I really don’t see much the Fakers have that legitimately concerns the Cs. LeBron and cast, plus the Cavs D? Lots to worry about. Superman, endless 3s and a top defense? Lots to worry about. Fakers? The Fakers could shoot the lights out, and if so, so be it, but that’s what it looks like it will take. They’re not going to be getting a bunch of layups, or a bunch of open 3s. They have 5.5 players total and those 5.5 are going to have to constantly make a very high percentage of contested shots. It could happen, and probably will 1 game, but it like I said, it doesn’t really concern me. Cs in 5.

  • I actually was putting Artest’s “”limitations”” in a nice way, however now that we have some laker people on here let me put a “”REALITY”” check on this series. I am a C’s fan living on the left coast so I have repeatedly seen many times what I am seeing and hearing again this year. That is—-Laker fans buying in to what these dumbass prognosticators have to say. First they said Cleveland would destroy the C’s, then they said Orlando would destroy them, and then the C’s turned both of them to dust in convincing fashion. In the mean time the Lakers had a complete cake-walk in to the big dance. No Dallas to worry about–the team that actually matched up to the Lakers better than anyone else. #2–A minor test against OKC, who has talent but are still a year or two away.#3–A Utah team that is without two of their bigs.#4— A Phoenix team that would have trouble defending a pack of drunkin Nuns !!!! —-Let’s see who has been tested and ready to roll? Class!!!! Class!!!!! —-You got it—The men in green!!——–Hope springs eternal—Laker fans—And by the way @Angie—You better hope that Perkins gets ejected and then suspended for at least 1 game, cause believe me it’s your only hope. That’s right–depend on the Antichrist—errrrrrrr—David Stern to help out—-hey–you never know.

  • Jason

    Stephen, I’m stuck in here in the enemy’s back yard, too. Tough to stomach the … let’s be kind and call it ignorance. Can’t wait to have these people shut up by the Cs fourth straight beat-down of a “favored” opponent.

  • joe

    @Stephen 100% agree. The Lakers struggle against lightning quick point guards and stingy defenses (See Houston last year and OKC this year). Boston has both. C’s should take this.

  • @ Jason—By the way I was born on the East Coast before moving West and believe me the lack of knowledge with the so-called fans out here doesn’t stop with basketball—-We are talking all sports!!!! –Except all of their real fans like—-let’s see—-Jack Nicholson—Dustin Hoffman–ahhhhhhh–Madonna—ahhhh Sly Stallone— Hell—-The list of sports gurus is freakin endless out here——LMAO— No seriously–The people who claim to be the most devout Laker fans have about as much knowledge as all of the clowns listed above. Hey, while we are on this subject I want to personally call out all LAKER FANS that check in on this board to try and prove me wrong and believe me——It should be hilarious!!!!!!

  • Jeff

    What if Artest holds Pierce down? Pierce was held down against Cleveland, but the Celtics won.
    I like that the tough decisions about who defends who are on the Lakers’ side. No one is wondering about which Celtic is going to defend which Laker.
    OK, Artest has Pierce and holds him down. Kobe covers Rondo and Fish is on Allen; did you see the way Allen’s eyes lit up whenever Mo Williams covered him? Kobe covers Allen and Fish is on Rondo; dive to the basket and dunk, KG!
    If the Lakers can get their frontcourt going on offense, the Celtics may get in foul trouble, and Kobe is going to have some big games.
    The Lakers can’t consistently stop the Celtics from scoring enough to win, but can the Celtics stop the Lakers from scoring enough to win? We’ll soon see.

  • Hey @Angie and @ Korey—–Were did you all go?———We finished already?

  • @Jeff—What playoffs have you been watching and how can you even ask the question ”Can the Celtics stop the Lakers from scoring enough to win? Did you see any of the Celtics–Cavs or Celtics—Magic series? Both the Cavs and Magic are both more balanced offensive teams than the Lakers are. I realize many Laker fans believe Kobe can walk on water but he is still just one man. The truth is that most Laker fans really don’t believe they are going to win this series. They saw what the C’s did to Cleveland and Orlando –the top 2 seeds in the NBA—WITHOUT homecourt advantage. Believe me they are concerned—very concerned. They have to say to C’s fans that they are going to take us down, however when they are alone with their thoughts concerning this series it’s a different story.

  • RBD

    The problem with trumpeting past PP vs. RA matchups is that Paul may be guarding Kobe a lot of the time. That’s a lot of energy to expend on both sides of the ball.

  • Jason

    @Stephen, I grew up back east as well.

    @RBD, it’s not a terrible point, but as an offensive force LeBron > Kobe (despite how all Fakers lap dogs will howl the contrary) and as a defensive wall LeBron > Artest. Still, it won’t be a cake walk. Fortunately, Pierce is one tough, determined and talented player. I will say, while the loss of Daniels isn’t massive, it would be nice to have him available as a stout wing defender in case of emergency.

  • NHBluesMan

    i would assume Daniels should be back by at least the first game in Boston, he just needs to get his mojo back. He was playing great at the beginning of the season and then kind of dropped off.

    I fully expect the C’s to steal a game in LA (i’d probably have a heart attack if they won both). and really, for all the hype he’s been getting from Lakers fan’s, Artest doesn’t scare me. The way they talk Artest will hold Pierce to 0 points per game, Bynum is going to be playing against a 5 ft tall Jr. high ball player, and Kobe will shoot 100% while being guarded by 5 guys. oh, and of COURSE Derek Fisher (the best PG in the league in their mind) will play lights out defense on Rondo, holding him to no assists, 1 rebound, and 2 points a game (and of course, those 2 points will be either a lucky jumper, for made by going 2 for 20 from the line).

    I know the Lakers won’t be a cakewalk, but its not like they’re invincible either (granted, neither are the Celtics, but i like our chances). The team that faces the most adversity is better prepared for the finals. Last year, the Lakers faced adversity from Houston and Denver, this year, OKC gave them a fight, but thats really about it. Jazz? Nope. Suns? maybe, but not really.

    Celtics have been winning HUGE games on the road, and i think that will be the X factor in this series. ‘Sheed has championship experience, and i think he can bring his A game, Baby is capable of putting up big numbers, when TA is healthy he can attack the rim and play great D, and we know that Nate can go off for double digits too.

    2 years ago, the Celtics won 2 games on the road… 2 GAMES!!! and they were able to pull it out. This year, they’ve won 5 on the road (almost 6 if they hadn’t fallen apart at the end of game 1 against CLE) and 4 out of those 5 were in VERY hostile environments against 2 teams that played lights out on their home court during the regular season.

    Gasol might not be soft anymore, but don’t expect KG to back down either, Paul will still score against Artest (even though yes, he will probably have to work abit harder for it), Perk has the capability to shut down Bumknee… oh, sorry, Bynum, if he plays smart, and aside from Kobe, i don’t see anyone on the Lakers who can fully stop Rondo (and only Kobe can slow him down, if that).

    Overall, i’m pulling for the Celtics, and i think they’ll win it in 6. GO C’s!!!

  • ian

    @stephen –

    the lakers are undefeated at home this postseason. if and when the lakers win game 1 the celtics chances of winning the series are drastically reduced. phil jackson coaches teams are undefeated in any series going i believe its 47 and 0 when they win game 1. that is a monstrous stat. even though history does not always apply i believe that historical stat does.

    do you honestly believe the celtics can win if they lose game 1?

    ill also add since you guys love to talk matchups.
    for the lakers: artest will guard pierce obviously. kobe will be on rondo. fisher will guard ray ray. pau on KG and bynum on perkins to start the game.

    for artest against pierce: ron ron isnt going to shut paul down completely but its a much better matchup than 2008. kobe isn’t quick enough anymore to keep up with rondo. but he is smart enough. kobe will give him his space attempt to turn him into a jump shooter. rondo has seen this before and is much improved in just about everything i must admit.but with kobes size he will hopefully give rondo some issues and also keep him off the glass at the same time (8x all defensive 1st team and he plays his hardest defense at this point in the season). for the fisher matchup, although undersized, his single best skill is probably running through screens and picking up offensive fouls on opposing bigs.

    lakers win game 1…lakers in 6!

  • mitch

    @ korey

    Kevin Garnett was defensive player of the year before, is he or was he is the best defensive player on the planet??? no…neither is ron artest for winning one….so yes, you are an idiot

  • mitch

    is he or was he*

  • Korey

    if you dont think DPOY means best defensive player on the planet, then check into the asylum and then come back.

  • Ron Artest won DPOY in 2003-2004 while Ben Wallace led the league in Defensive Rating (http://www.basketball-reference.com/leaders/def_rtg_yearly.html) and Defensive Wins Shared (http://www.basketball-reference.com/leaders/dws_yearly.html).

    Ben Wallace won DPOY in ’02, ’03, ’05, and ’06. Classic case of, “we can’t give it to the same guy five years in a row.”

    Guess how many defensive statistical categories Ron Artest led the league in by the end of the 2003-2004? If you answered “0” you would be correct.

    You say I’m an idiot and I’m crazy, I say your uninformed or at least under-informed. Who is right?

  • stephen

    @Ian–Good post–Good enthusiasm.Let’s look at this. Yes,the Lakers are undefeated at home this postseason. Question; Do Laker fans ever look deeper then W-L records? Ever? #1 Wow!!! Winning all the home games against a young & inexperienced OKC team. #2–Winning all their home games against Utah without 2 of their bigs plus Utah stinks on the road in the playoffs every year. #3 Barely winning all their home games against Phoenix-aka-Artest’s look what I found on Kobe’s last second air-ball. Plus like I mentioned in an earlier post the Suns couldn’t defend a pack of drunken Nuns let alone another NBA Team. Now since you mentioned matchups–Let’s do it. Center–Bynum vs.Perkins. Bynum certainly has the edge offensively however he’s going up against perhaps the best low post defender in the game,if Bynum were healthy I would rate this even but he’s not healthy Edge;Perkins— Next Pierce vs. Artest–I will clearly admit Artest is a huge upgrade defensively over what the Lakers had in 2008 but then again so would my girlfriend. Pierce won’t eat Artest up however by game 3 Pierce will be in Artest’s head which is no big accomplishment based on Artest’s mental faculties.Edge ;Pierce –Next-Gasol vs. KG–I clearly see that Gasol is a better player than in 08–(Offensively)!!! -However his defense has improved–Not at all–Same marshmellow he’s always been. KG–while clearly a step slower is still a force to be reckoned with on the defensive end.KG won’t stop Gasol,however Gasol ain’t stopping KG either–Plus KG is still much tougher-Edge; Even–Kobe vs. Allen–Ok,you got me on this one–Ray can only try to force Kobe into tough looks-Pierce and Tony Allen will take cracks at Kobe as well,the C’s don’t have to stop Kobe in this series,they need to do damage control. If Kobe switches defensivelt to play Rondo then Ray Allen has a field day with Fisher.Ray doesn’t have to score tons in this series,but he will need to hit some big 3’s.Edge Lakers; Next-the biggest mismatch in this series regardless of what Laker fans say–Fisher vs. Rondo–Anyone who sees this as even remotely close is stone cold f**k nuts,pure and simple.Rondo is quickly becoming the best point guard in the league, if he isn’t already ( Ask Magic Johnson !!! Rondo will blow past Fisher like he is glued to the floor and will dominate Fisher on the defensive end as well. Plus Rondo is the best rebounding guard in the leauge while Fisher can’t even remember what the word means. Edge; Celtics—Bench-The Lakers have the best player in Odom coming off their bench however after Odom there is a clear advantage for the Celtics.I’ll take Big Baby,Sheed,Tony Allen,Nate Robinson over anybody the Lakers throw out there. Odom is the best single bench player for both teams but after him it’s the C’s hands down. You also mentioned Phil Jackson’s record after winning the first game in a series.I’m impressed–Ahhhh–NOT AT ALL!!!! — I would never lose either if I had Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen AND PLAYERS OF THAT ilk at my disposal. Let’s get one thing straight. Phil Jackson is one of the most overrated coaches in NBA history. If the Lakers had Larry Brown or Greg Popovich or a coach that actually preaches AHHHHH–DEFENSE!! then I would give the Lakers a much bigger chance in this series. Laker fans think they can win this by simply outplaying the Celtics on the offensive end but it doesn’t work that way in any sport…–Baseball–Great pitching and defense beats great offense every time. Football; Great defense beats great offense; Hockey–etc. etc. etc. —-So to all tht Laker homers out there, go ahead and listen to all these pro-western conference dumb-ass prognosticators. Yes, there have been some changes for both these teams since 2008 however one thing remains the same–The Celtics are clearly and I MEAN CLEARLY still the better team defensively. Defense wins titles, and remember many of the so-called experts picked the Lakers back in 2008 as well. Celtics in six–Split in L.A. for games 1and 2–C’s take 2 of 3 in Boston and then win game 6 in L.A.—Oh, I’m a C’s fan living on the West Coast so don’t even try and tell me I don’t know what typical Laker fans are about.

  • ian


    sorry but win/loss does come into play when the lakers have homecourt advantage and have not lost at home this postseason. how is that hard to understand? i understand the celtics have a better regular season record on the road but this isn’t the regular season and this isn’t the raptors you’re playing in the weak north east. i also understand the celtics have just beat 2 of the better teams in the league in which they did not have home court. the cavs were poorly coached and revolved around lebron. when he didn’t perform they crumbled. the lakers are not just kobe bryant and they do not require him to score 30 points a game for them to win. (see the 2nd game vs the celtics during the regular season in which kobe didn’t play, even though the lakers lost. it was by 1 point. also see the thunder series where kobe was a facilator and took something like 8 shots in a game where they still won). Orlando lost all confidence and basically gave up. celtics deserve alot of credit for that. but i dont see how you cannot take into account the lakers have homecourt and have not lost at home this season. get it?

    as far as matchups…imo KG has lost more than 1 step.(due to age or injuries) he does not score more than 20 points consistently. heck they have to beg him to get up more than 15 shots a game. And Pau is much better than he was in 2008. whether he was or is soft isn’t the issue. he wasn’t even with the lakers that whole season in 2008. he knows the triangle completely now. also i do think he is improved defensively. in 08′ he was intimidated by KG but i don’t think thats the case anymore. he also rebounds much much better these days.

    the only other thing ill touch on is fisher. as much as you want to believe rondo is going to tear him up it won’t be the case because the majority of the time, it will be kobe on rondo for the most part. kobe likes to conserve energy and roam on defense sometimes and ray isn’t someone you can do that against. fisher is the best at running through screens and picking up fouls on the offense. kobe can roam off rondo and not worry about him spotting up for a 3 because thats what the lakers want him to take. they will live with rondo taking open outside jumpers all day. and if all else fails they will pull a hack a rondo..have you seen that guy shoot free throws? bad.

  • Korey


    So you finally man’d up and authored a response.

    I didnt say you were a idiot…Check the post… I said I’d refrain from that because we all make mistakes.

    Again, read what you wrote:
    “If I know one thing to be true in this world, it is that Ron Artest has never been considered the best player on the planet. ”

    If the NBA/AP WRITERS VOTED for Artest has DPOY , that means they considered him to be the best for that year.

    If you want to change the argument and say was he statistically the best for that year, and all that, then let’s have at it. I’ll start digging up posts to in Truehoop and all over the place showing that the impact of defensive stats is clearly not here yet, and that rebounding rate and even “points scored against a defender” is vastly overrated in the concept of team defense. No one would say James Posey is the best perimeter defender in the league, but with KG, Perk and company behind him he might’ve been for that year.

    But I’m not going to get off topic. What you WROTE is patently false. He was recognized as DPOY because people considered him to be the best for that year. Justified or not thats what they considered him to be.

    But alas, I dont expect you to concede that point. Pride leads before the fall.

  • Hi Korey,

    This will be my final response to this issue because a) you’re splitting hairs over rhetoric and diction and it’s unnecessary and asinine; and b) commenting back and forth on a blog is the antithesis of “manning up.” If you want to continue to debate this, feel free to email me at bjackson@celticshub.com.

    Let’s kick this off with a little bit of why preempting a statement with one in direct opposition actually does not work. You saying, “I’m not calling you an idiot but…” and then effectively pointing out something I wrote that you deem idiotic is not only oxymoronic, it’s just plain moronic. I hesitate to harp on this but it just so happens that Rashard Lewis used the very same device at the end of the Orlando series (something in which I discussed at length here: http://celticshub.com/2010/05/26/i-knew-this-would-happen-sooner-or-later/).

    But I digress…

    I believe you failed to completely copy the quote with which you take issue. The full quote is the following: “If I know one thing to be true in this world, it is that Ron Artest has never been considered the best player on the planet. Ron Artest has never even been considered the best defensive player on the planet.”

    The last part is the kicker for you if I am not mistaken. Given that Ron Artest has won DPOY once in 2003-2004 means that the majority of NBA/AP writers and broadcasters felt that Ron Artest was the best defensive player on the planet for that season. If you want to oversimplify, I concede. I, however, do not live in a vacuum. I know that Ron Artest edged out Ben Wallace for DPOY in 2004 by the second narrowest margin in the five years surrounding the 2003-2004 season (second narrowest margin only because the 2005 DPOY was really a three team race between Wallace, Bruce Bowen, and Marcus Camby). In 2003, Wallace beat Artest in first place votes 100-2, and in 2002 Wallace beat out Kevin Garnett in first place votes 106-2.

    After winning the award, Ron Artest has never made it close to that pinnacle of defensive prowess. Could have been the suspension, but I believe it had more to do with the hand-checking rule change that took effect at the start of the 2004-2005 season.

    You clearly respect the old adage “don’t believe everything you read” as you have taken quite the objection with what I wrote. I would just suggest you extend that to include what writers think and how that thinking affects their voting. The bottom line is Ben Wallace was the best defensive player on the planet in 2004.

    I know you are a Laker fan so it’s hard to fathom things like Ron Artest being the least of the Celtics concerns. I know if I were a Laker fan, I would still be upset about “swapping”* Ariza for Artest. I also know you are fired up for this series, as we all are. Just please, make the arguments substantive instead of frivolous.

    I find it interesting that you used the “Pride comes before the fall” Psalm reference as your conclusion. As Celtics fans (and even NBA fans) we all know what happened when Dwight Howard used the same language to describe the Celtics. You using it to describe my writing can only catapult me to a book deal, right? So for that, I thank you and rest assured, you will get a special place in the acknowledgements.

    Enjoy the series.

    *Both were free agent signings but with the propensity for nitpicking here, I feel I need to clarify.

  • stephen

    @ Ian — Your correct Ian,this is not the regular season however the Celtics are more dangerous on the road now then at any time during the year. Also,I hope they put Kobe on Rondo—often in this series. Trying to stay in front of Rondo will only hurt the Lakers come the 4th quarter. Kobe will eventually start to wear down and his jump shots start to fall short. Once again I will sat that Gasol is indeed a better offensive player then in 2008,he knows the triangle offense much better now however your statement that Gasol is a better defender then in 08 leads me to believe you need to start watching Laker games in at least a semi-sober state. Gasol couldn’t guard my mother let alone KG. By the way he did just a Cracker-Jack job on Amare Stoudamire in the Phoenix series-He went around Gasol like he was glued to the floor!!!!

  • Great ideas! I used to be having some porblems about what you already said, Now I will be higher!