L.A. Lakers: You Can’t Blame Ron Artest, Matt Barnes For Defensive Struggles

November 18th, 2010 by Hadarii Jones Leave a reply »
I have recently taken heat for suggesting that Los Angeles Lakers forwards Ron Artest and Matt Barnes would form two thirds of the NBA's top perimeter trio, and after two consecutive losses, my opinion has not changed.

Losses to the Denver Nuggets and Phoenix Suns have illustrated that the Lakers are far from being the dominant defensive force that some feel they can be, but none of those issues can directly be traced back to either Barnes or Artest.

Los Angeles allows its opponents to shoot 44 percent from the field and 37 percent from the three point line, but those numbers are more than likely a reflection of defensive issues that have dogged the Lakers in the past.

Some people choose to point to the Lakers' 4th quarter collapse against Denver as proof that Artest and Barnes are not worthy of being labeled an elite defensive duo, but in reality, both had played well until very late in the game.

Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony did score 32 points in that game, but Artest and Barnes made him work for every single point, and Anthony was granted very few open looks at the basket.

Artest's strength made it difficult for Anth ...

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