According to Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles the Lakers are expecting to lose Ron Artest for Game 3 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals against the Dallas Mavericks.
Trailing late in Game 2 to Dallas, Artest committed a frustration foul on Mavericks’ guard J.J. Barea. The foul looked more like a wrestling move than a basketball play, but resulted in Artest’s second technical foul and subsequent ejection.
After watching the replay several times it’s quite evident that Artest was not making a play on the ball, and could very well cost himself and the Lakers on Friday night. The league office is sure to review the call, and if this was a regular season meeting Artest would undoubtedly be suspended. Since this is the playoffs and the games carry much more weight it’s possible the league might give Artest and the Lakers a break, but don’t count on it.
“It was uncalled for,” said head coach Phil Jackson. “There’s a good chance he’ll be suspended. I hope not.”
Whether or not Artest plays in Game 3 could be instrumental in the Lakers chances of getting back into the series. Friday’s game will be the first in Dallas and the Lakers will need all the help they can get to finally quiet the Mavericks.
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