How the Lakers Need to Stand Up to Rolling Thunder

I don’t know what’s more nauseating, Ron Ron being 3 for 23 from behind the arc in this series or thinking about what Kirstie Alley looks like naked.  Feel free to shudder for a moment because I just did.  While Artest’s defense is obviously a huge component to our hopes at repeating, shooting 13% from deep is just as huge of a detriment and might even spell disaster for us in this series alone.  More than just the fact that we must hit our open shots, missed threes usually lead to long rebounds and as we’ve seen with the Thunder, they are looking to push the ball and run every chance they get.  In case you’ve missed Games 3 and 4, the Lakers aren’t exactly fresh spring chickens and are losing the transition battle as bad as they can.

I do understand the importance of defense and believe me, I love watching great defense and eat up any awe-inspiring performances, but I really wish he was doing better offensively because we would all refrain from constantly bringing up Trevor Ariza and his hot shooting from last year’s title run.  He shot a blistering 47.6% from three-point range in the entire playoffs last season and I really can’t even recall any of his misses.  That’s just how on fire he seemed to be, draining it every time Kobe of Pau kicked it out to him.

As unfortunate as it is, if the Lakers fail to repeat (don’t even want to imagine failing to get out of this series), the demons of Artest vs. Ariza will haunt not only Ron, but Mitch Kupchak and Jerry Buss all the way through to next season’s NBA Playoffs because the critics will have a hell of a time ostracizing the front office’s decision to let Trevor walk.  It is massively unfair, especially because I know a lot of us Laker fans have come to love having Ron Ron on the team, but such is the life of a professional athlete.  Every major player will be compared and measured against another, but I can only hope that Artest was fully prepared to make a run for his first ring under that shroud of evaluation and that he can step up and get it going.

NEXT: How do we stop Westbrook?
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