Monday, October 25, 2010
SCOUTING THE ROSTER: SMALL FORWARDS
RON ARTEST: Champagne sure tastes better than some fans beer. Ron Artest has come a long way since his darkest day. Now frontcourt, behind centre Ron was a big part of his and his teams greatest moment in 2010. As for Ron's past, it's a wrap. This champion is the Lakers wild card that cut the cheese instead of the deck. He's the one that made fans forget about Ariza before Ebanks. He forms QB's finest with Lamar Odom (Nas is proud) and as for his relationship with Kobe, they got in each others face in the playoffs again this year, but this time they almost needed to get a room. All joking aside Ron is serious now. Serious about getting better, serious about mental health and serious about winning. Number 37 made the Lakers diamond in a 'thriller' finals last season and this season number 15 is going back to the basics, thinner, stronger and even more focused. Ron, Ron is about to double up, now think twice? Bet his next championship ring on ebay and you'll be the one making guarantees you can't bid on.
MATT BARNES: From one top bracket defensive talent with a history of trouble both off the court and with Kobe to another. Matt Barnes signing gives the Lakers the perfect defensive supplement for Ron or Kobe off the bench. Barnes versatile talents may mean that even though he's coming off the bench he could still play starters minutes and be in the game at crucial moments. Ladies and gentleman, your looking at the defensive Robert Horry. When Barnes is on the floor at the same time as his dog Ron and the doberman the three give the Lakers the best perimeter defense trio in the league. Three lines of defence that even the army of LeBron and Dwyane would find hard to breach. Barnes may have some problems but he takes some offence too. Barnes isn't an upgrade from a player the Lakers have lost. There's no one like Barnes, this move is all asset adding another dimension to a team that stands out so much. There 3D. Now it's time for that three-peat.
DEVIN EBANKS: Sure it's been said before. They look the same, play the same and even wear the same number but still as much as he helps the Lakers ease the loss of Trevor Ariza, Devin Ebanks is very much his own man. The Lakers normally never get the better draft picks but the Lakers hit the lottery when Ebanks number came up at 43 in this years draft. Sure this is a ludicrously wrong placing for a player so fundamentally right but the rest of the leagues loss is the Lakers big win. Devin's in excess play is heaven sent. He's the ticket. He plays the passing lanes and is a steal in more ways then one. He can score, D and finish like Bruce Springsteen, tougher than the rest and this is all from the preseason. Most importantly Ebanks doesn't just look like Ariza he also doesn't look like a rookie. You know Phil's going to be happy playing this one. Not such a 'bust' preseason after all.
LUKE WALTON: It's time for Staples Centre fans to start screaming 'Luuuke' again. Luke may have been battling back and all sorts of injuries but it's now time for him suit up on the floor instead of the bench. Luke along with Kobe is one of the only surviving Lakers from the team that had Shaq on and since then Luke has been an important part of the teams fuel economy since the diesel left. Don't pass this assist man up because he's an asset to the Lakers with his all round play, competitiveness and heart. Luke was the perfect replacement for Rick Fox and provided he's healthy and in purple and gold, just like Rick, Luke will always be ready to go when the show need him. Like father Bill, like son however the injury prone Walton will look to make the most of his time. Unlike his dad however here's hoping this time isn't limited. TIM DAVID HARVEY.