“So essentially what you're saying is they got Artest because of what happened against the Celtics in 2008. If that's true, then that's some HORRIBLE planning on the Lakers part. If anything, the Lakers got Artest because he's a better scorer than Ariza (Artest = 17.1 PPG; Ariza = 8.9 PPG in '08-'09).
I'll agree with the fact that Artest is more physically imposing than Ariza, but I just don't believe Artest's physical superiority to Ariza is going to matter. Going back to my Nuggets argument -- because that's who I pick in the West: Billups, J.R. Smith, Carmelo Anthony ... all quicker than Artest. Being physical doesn't really mean much when the guy you're supposed to be guarding is blowing past you every trip down the floor.
But let's say for the sake of argument the Lakers meet Cleveland in the NBA Finals this year. Is Ron Artest really going to be effective against LeBron James? Kobe can't guard LeBron all night (or at all for that matter -- James avgs. 28 against the Lakers in his career).
I stick by my opinion they should've just kept Ariza's athleticism, developed his shooting and live or die with it. They won an NBA title once like that, didn't they? Or was that victory parade in Los Angeles a figment of my imagination?”