Archive for the 'Ron Artest' Category

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Artest, Odom Expected to Play vs. Rockets

We learned quite a bit after Monday’s practice on the Lakers’ injury front, which kept Lamar Odom (gastrointestinal discomfort) and Pau Gasol (left hamstring strain) out of the building but saw Ron Artest (concussion) return to the fold.

Here’s the update after Lakers shootaround on Tuesday as it relates to L.A.’s game against Houston tonight: Odom participated in shootaround and will play; Artest is expected to play; Gasol will not play.

Artest saw his neurologist on Tuesday morning and was cleared to play, though the pair will reunite prior to the game to make sure everything is go for launch.

Ron Artest Injury Update – Jan. 2

Prior to Sunday’s game against Dallas, Phil Jackson said that Ron Artest was cleared to practice on Monday, and that the team was hopeful he could play on Tuesday against Houston.

Artest had earlier told reporters that he doubted he’d be ready by Tuesday’s game (while acknowledging that it was a possibility), but when told of Jackson’s statement, had this to say: “Whatever they tell me to play, I’ll go.”

Artest went on to explain that he’s certainly feeling better, and that while he’s not completely “comfortable,” he is happy to play when he’s not 100 percent.

“Five days ago it was pretty bad, but Monday will be 10 days, so basically I’m on schedule,” he said. “I’m feeling pretty good now.”

Artest went through the team’s entire shootaround session on Sunday morning, including shooting and running drills, and (as Jackson said) is expected to practice fully with contact on Monday.

He’ll then be evaluated once again, and a decision will be made as to his availability for Tuesday.

Ron Artest Injury Update

On Wednesday afternoon at L.A.’s practice facility, Ron Artest did around 10 minutes of walking on a treadmill, but is still experiencing dizziness and has not yet been cleared by the neurologist with whom he meets each day.

L.A.’s starting small forward addressed reporters for the first time on Tuesday evening to go over what details he remembered of his Christmas day fall that caused a concussion and mandated stitches to his head and elbow.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO.

Kobe Bryant, who was the first person Artest thought to contact (via text message) after his fall, had this to say Tuesday’s game: “He’s a warrior like I am, he plays through everything, so for him to be out it has to really be bothering him.”

Artest is still listed as “day-to-day,” and will continue to meet with the neurologist until he is cleared to play.

Ron Artest Improving

Monday, December 28
****Update: Ron Artest continues to improve, but will not join the team in Phoenix for Monday night’s game against the Suns.

Sunday, December 27
The condition of Ron Artest, who suffered a concussion after falling down stairs in his home, has improved.

Artest visited the neurologist office on Sunday, but will need to go once again on Monday before being cleared to play against the Suns.

“We’re hopeful that he’ll play tomorrow,” said Phil Jackson. “But he has to be seen (by doctors) and go through that process.”

Jackson added that he hasn’t spoken to Artest personally, but has been informed that he’s doing “much better now.”

The head coach is also unsure as to whether he will again start Lamar Odom in place of Artest if Ron Ron isn’t able to go.

UPDATE: Artest Suffers Injury At Home

From LA’s PR staff:

****UPDATE
2:38 p.m., Saturday Dec. 26:
Ron Artest was examined today in Los Angeles by a neurologist. Diagnosis from his examination showed that Artest did suffer a concussion in last night’s fall. Artest’s condition has improved since last night; however, he will continue to see a neurologist on a daily basis until he is cleared to return. He is definitely out for tonight’s game against the Kings at Sacramento and his status beyond that will be considered day-to-day.

———————–
10:15 a.m., Saturday Dec. 26:
Lakers Forward Ron Artest was injured last night at his home when he tripped over a box and fell down a flight of stairs, suffering an injury to his head and left elbow.

Artest received treatment at the emergency room at UCLA Medical Center, where he was released after undergoing a series of tests, including a CT scan. He received stitches to the back of his head and to his elbow.

Artest did not accompany the team to Sacramento this morning and is not expected to play in tonight’s game against the Kings. Artest will be examined today in Los Angeles by a neurologist and after that examination, an update will be given with an estimate as to when Artest will be able to rejoin the team.

Artest Adds to Team Defense

Ron ArtestDuring L.A.s’ 2008-09 regular season, the to-be champs gave up an average of 99.3 points per game.

Fourteen games into the 2009-10 campaign, that number has dropped to 96.5 points per game. From Head Coach Phil Jackson to Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, several Lakers have credited the addition of Ron Artest’s defensive skills with the early improvement of a team still learning how best to play together.

It’s no wonder than Artest ranks 5th in the NBA in plus-minus (+135), meaning the Lakers have outscored opponents by 135 points when he’s been on the floor. The only players above him are Dirk Nowitzki (+157), Al Horford (+155), Mike Bibby (+145) and L.A.’s own Kobe Bryant (+137).

Artest Thrilled With Gasol, Team

Artest - PauAfter Tuesday’s shootaround in preparation for the New York Knicks, Ron Artest shared his feelings about Pau Gasol, after two games playing alongside the Spaniard in L.A.’s front court.

“It feels great to play with him,” said Artest. “He’s so tough, he’s very versatile, and he can pass the ball. He just makes us better. We’re not even playing great yet.”

Artest explained that with Gasol’s inclusion, he thinks the Lakers are “the best team on the basketball court in a long time,” and that he couldn’t be happier with his situation.

Sunday Practice Report

Andrew BynumAfter a long practice on Sunday morning, assembled reporters learned that Andrew Bynum is absolutely ready to play on Tuesday, that Pau Gasol may not be and that Ron Artest is very happy to be in L.A.

Before the round up, here’s the audio from Head Coach Phil Jackson:

BYNUM READY TO GO
Jackson said that Bynum “did well” and “had no problems out there” in practice, after the young center had missed consecutive preseason games while recovering from minor shoulder and leg issues.

Bynum concurred.

“I felt good,” he said. “I came in early yesterday and got a lot done … I’m excited for (Tuesday’s game). I want to get the ring, go through the ceremony, then take care of business at night time and really go at (the Clippers).”

GASOL STILL WORKING ON SORE HAMSTRING
Gasol, on the other hand, spent the day doing only cardio, though he was in good spirits when speaking to reporters. He reiterated what had been reported on Friday in San Diego: while his hamstring injury isn’t something that he’d call serious, he wants to make sure he’s not pushing it too hard, too fast.

“It’s most important that I get myself healthy at this point in the year so I can go through the whole year,” said the Spaniard. “If I put myself in a risky situation then I won’t be helping my team in the long run.”

Jackson seemed to share Gasol’s sentiments.

“We have three days in between our first game and our second one,” said Jackson. so if worse comes to worse, we have a really great replacement for (Gasol) with Lamar Odom.”

RON ARTEST: TEAM PLAYER
Skeptics that had expected Ron Artest to be doing his own thing on the court for L.A. saw a collective counterexample from the forward throughout eight preseason games.

The evidence is in the statistics, which showed Artest taking fewer shots per game than five other Lakers, and found him placed second on the team only to point guard Jordan Farmar in assists.

In 25 minutes per game, Artest averaged 7.9 points, 3.8 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.38 steals.

After Sunday’s practice, he had this to say about preseason play:

Artest Opens Strong in Anaheim

artestThe Lakers knew what they were getting in Ron Artest before he was signed away from Houston in July, at least from a tangible perspective:

- A 6-7, 260-pound, muscle-bound frame.
- A well-rounded perimeter and post skill set that’s produced career averages of 16.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.1 steals.
- Numerous All-Defensive Teams (including a spot on last season’s Second Team) and a Defensive Player of the Year award.

Many of Artest’s physical traits were present in an all-too-easy 118-101 Lakers win over Golden State in Wednesday evening’s preseason opener, during which the Queens, N.Y. native produced 12 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and two steals in 23 minutes.

“He just plays hard, man,” said Shannon Brown. “He can hoop.”

Harder to measure was how Artest would gel with his new teammates, but early reports out of training camp suggested that the man with stints in Chicago, Indiana and Sacramento prior to Houston fit like Pau Gasol and soft hands. Standing out most clearly has been that ever-present energy alluded to by Brown.

Ron Artest“I try to always go hard, try to always play hard, I’ve been doing that for a long time,” Artest said prior to the game. “It’s the only way I know how to play.”

Preseason or not.

“You always want to give 100 percent when you play,” the St. Johns product continued. “You always try to find a way to take it up a notch, no matter if it’s preseason or regular season. The coach will be the one to minimize the importance of the game based on playing time. But as long as you’re out there, you gotta play.”

That he did, particularly on defense, showing some versatility in defending Warriors forwards (like Stephen Jackson) and guards (like rookie Stephen Curry). On the other end, particularly in the first half, Artest found himself left all alone – for the first time in several NBA seasons – on the perimeter. Of course, that’s what happens when Andrew Bynum is occupying the block, Pau Gasol is on the high post, Kobe Bryant’s lurking and Derek Fisher is spreading the floor from the corner.

“It’s going to be great throughout the year (to be that open), he said. “Over the last couple of years a lot of those shots have come off the dribble, with pressure, off down screens and that kind of stuff. It’s going to be a fun year.”

Indeed, he may have been too open as he missed his first three shots, but the fourth – for which he took an extra second to line up – swished through the net. Artest found other ways to contribute in the half, amassing four assists and five boards plus a steal in nearly 16 minutes of burn. Then in the second half, he found his stroke, hitting 3-of-4 as he began to find his spots within Phil Jackson’s offense.

“I haven’t worked in the triangle in a long time but now is about playing against other teams, and (I’m going to) learn fast,” he explained.

“Ron has a number of things he has to comprehend,” said Jackson. “We’ve kept it relatively simple, but we’ve added some things these last couple of days. We just want to see how he does.”

That’s to be determined as the season rolls on, though Artest did get his first taste of how just how good the Lakers can be, witnessing an array of dunks (like an absolutely viscious Shannon Brown hammer slam over Mikki Moore), threes (four in the third quarter) and effective defense that kept Golden State on the perimeter (to the tune of 36 percent shooting through three quarters).

“If you’re playing on a championship team, you’re just hungry to be on that team,” said Artest. “You want to get another one. You don’t think you can bring that much, you’re looking for guidance and help to get a ring. Maybe you don’t realize how much you bring.”

A near triple-double in 23 minutes wasn’t a bad way to start.

POSTGAME NUMBERS
45: Inches in Shannon Brown’s vertical jump, all of which the Anaheim crowd witnessed during his ridiculous dunk in the second quarter.

29: Assists for the Lakers on 44 field goals, led by seven from Ron Artest and six from Jordan Farmar.

20: First half points from Andrew Bynum on 7-of-11 shooting, including three dunks. He’d finish with a game-high 24 points along with five boards.

18: Lakers turnovers, a stat that tends to trend high in the preseason.

16: Steals amassed by an active Lakers defense, led by three each from Bryant, Farmar and Derek Fisher.

15: Rebounding edge for the longer Lakers (53-38), including 17 offensive boards and led by nine each from Bryant (who added 22 points in 26 minutes) and Artest.

4: Third quarter threes by the Lakers, from four different players.

Artest Climbs the Ladder

Lakers forward Ron Artest goes up for a jam in Thursday’s practice, with Andrew Bynum looking on.

artest_dunk_350

Andrew E. Bernstein, NBA Photos