Monday nights 7 point win over the Thunder was probably the biggest and most impressive win for the Lakers this season. The Lakers have struggled mightily against the elite teams in the NBA and they desperately needed the W for their confidence in addition to trying to build some momentum going into the All Star break. While a team coming off two straight championships doesn’t have their confidence shaken easily by regular season wins and losses, doubt however, even if a little, has to begin to creep in and build in the player’s subconscious as the bad losses pile up.
A huge factor in last nights win was the complete smothering of Durant by Ron Artest which caused an ineffective and inefficient night by the leagues reigning scoring champ. Durant shot a horrid 8 for 24 on his way to a lackluster 24 points. Artest’s hand cuffing of Durant was no aberration as this was their 10th game where the two have matched up over the last two seasons (including playoff games) and the other 9 games look eerily similar to last night.
It would be a very hard to believe a statement that someone of the adept scoring ability of a Kevin Durant is owned by any one defender. In this case, with 10 games of hard evidence, we need to start considering that Artest has a strangle hold on all claims to Durant.
I have some compelling pieces of evidence that can substantiate Ron’s claim of ownership, should he ever choose to bring it fruition.
Next: Looking at the Numbers