Ron Artest is a Laker starter, but when it comes time to close out games this season Shannon Brown and Matt Barnes tend to get the fourth quarter run. Mostly because those two are better offensive players.
“I didn’t even get a chance to be a distraction. I only played 20 minutes,” Artest said about the Lakers’ Christmas loss to Miami.
“I thought I played pretty well last game … in limited minutes,” Artest said. “It was unfortunate I couldn’t get off the bench in the fourth quarter. I felt pretty good.”
“I was almost having a semi-breakout game. … I was really close to having a breakout game. I felt good the past couple games. It’s just unfortunate I’m not able to work my way off the bench.”
I remember it differently. I remember Artest getting two quick fouls guarding LeBron (and LeBron having a good game against him, something more detailed research confirmed). I remember his substitution throwing off the Lakers rotations. I see Artest shooting 39 percent on the season and 33.8 percent from three, both numbers down from last season.
I see Phil Jackson with options and going with ones that give the team a better chance to win right now. For Artest, have the breakthrough game and you’ll get the run.
Last season — and into the playoffs — Artest had some key late game plays for the Lakers, but he’s going to have to earn that trust again.
Nets’ national anthem singer kneels to finish performance
NEW YORK (AP)— The national anthem singer at the Brooklyn Nets’ home opener took a knee at the end of her performance.
Justine Skye was nearing the completion of the song Friday night when she went to one knee for the finish. There were some cheers, but appeared to be more boos from the crowd at Barclays Center to see the Nets play the Orlando Magic.
NBA players have continued to stand during the playing of the anthems, as required by league rule.
Mavericks’ rookie guard Dennis Smith Jr. misses game with knee swelling
This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.
After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverleyin his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.
Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).
Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.
LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim