Seven Game Suspension For Metta World Peace

Darius Soriano —  April 24, 2012

The NBA has leveled its punishment for the elbow Metta World Peace delivered to James Harden on Sunday and it’s a 7 game suspension. This ruling will keep him out of Thursday’s regular season finale against the Kings and will then go into the post-season for the next 6 games – should the Lakers be fortunate to play that many. (N0te that I say “fortunate” not because of any lack of confidence in the team, but rather the playoffs are a minefield and one’s never sure how they’ll play out.)

I’m not sure how I feel about the length of punishment. And while I’m sure many will have opinions on that, I really don’t. Ron earned his suspension by connecting on a blow to the head of another player with an elbow. He made a dangerous play; a play that didn’t involve the ball; a blow that wasn’t delivered within the context of any game action. For that he should be punished and now he has been. At this point it’s time for him, and the team, to move on.

There are still games to play. Depending on what happens over the next couple of days, Thursday’s game may still have seeding implications for the team. The Lakers magic number is one and with a Clippers’ loss or a Laker win vs the Kings, the Pacific Division crown is won and the 3rd seed locked up. After that, the playoffs will be here and the Lakers must try to win a series without their best wing defender; a series in which he wouldn’t be eligible to return until a deciding game 7. So, again, there’s work to do and in the short term Ron is not a part of that work. This is the reality of the situation.

Also, a couple of more words on the incident. Over the past couple of days my main concern has been with James Harden. Head injuries should never be taken lightly and if you’ve ever suffered a concussion you’ll know that even “mild” ones can lead to long lasting symptoms that can be difficult to cope with. We don’t yet know how head injuries translate to a person’s health long term and for that reason I’m hopeful that James is not only okay today, but okay tomorrow, okay next week, okay next month.

I also have concerns for Ron. He’s taken a blow in the media almost as severe to the one he delivered. Of course he was in the wrong. But, by all accounts, Ron is someone that’s made real strides in recent years, is someone that’s well liked by his teammates and has been described more often than not in recent years as a caring person with a good heart. To see him take a beating in the media with incidents from his past put on display as an indictment of the man that he is today is a bit difficult for me as someone that has wanted the best for him; as someone that still gives him the benefit of the doubt. So, in that respect, I hope that he too can heal. He’s certainly not going through the same thing that Harden is going through, but he’s going through something too. (Again, self inflicted, I know.)

Darius Soriano

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96 responses to Seven Game Suspension For Metta World Peace

  1. I ask that charges of racism not be made in this thread. If you feel the need to make those claims, please make them somewhere else. Thank you.

  2. Yeah, I agree that we should all move on. If he got 3 games, people are going say that it’s too short. If he was ousted for the rest of the postseason (maybe additional games for next year, too), people are going to say that it’s too harsh. Not everyone is going to be happy with the punishment so we should just all accept the reality of the situation.

    Speedy recovery to James Harden. Head injuries are nothing to mess with.

  3. 7 is 2 more than i thought reasonable, 3 less than what i thought likely. So yeah, it’s livable.

    What are your thoughts on our playoff run now?

    Is it actually worth even giving a thought to prolonging the 1st round series if possible?

    Maybe not intentionally so, but there’ll be a silver lining to not putting away a team in 4, because it will mean that we’ll have Ron that much sooner.

  4. You don’t want to let any team hang around longer than is needed, even in a situation like this.

    Even if the Lakers play well enough to sweep their first-round opponent, whomever that turns out to be, that would still only mean they would miss Artest for the first two games of the second round series.

    My concern is another SacTo emotion-fest like we saw in the final game last season, where the Kings played inspired basketball and shocked the Lakers in what could have been their last game in that city. I don’t want that scenario to play out again this year, affecting the Lakers’ seeding for the playoffs.

    Time for the 11 games who can play to get to work.

  5. 11 guys, I meant to say

  6. Curious George April 24, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    Unrelated topic – did stern ever suspend d wade for breaking kobe’s nose + giving him a concussion?

    Did Durant get even a flagrant foul for intentionally poking Kobe in the eye? Just asking…

  7. I’m hoping for a five-game Laker victory in the 1st round, and we then avoid the spectacle of MWP in OKC for the first two games of the next round. I think the length of the suspension was just right. I was fearing MWP being kept out of the 2nd round entirely, and I thought five games would have been a bit too lenient.

  8. 7 is less than expected but it’s fair. Your time to shine ebanks.

  9. Dude, your math is off: you are forgetting the Sac game. Even with a first round sweep (something I don’t find at all likely by the way), MWP wouldn’t be playing in the first two games in OKC.

  10. Ebanks apparently dropped a weight in practice and has some bruised fingers. Hopefully not anything severe enough to affect his play (unlikely considering his limited role on offense).

  11. How is it Kevin Love can stomp on Scola’s face and only get 2 games, while MWP gets 7?

  12. I honestly don’t think without a serviceable 3 (Barnes just got injured and Ebanks hasn’t been primed for big minutes) that the 1st round just got infinitely harder.

    Against Denver – Who guards Danilo and Harrington.
    Against Dallas – who guards VCarter and Delonte.
    And god forbid we lose at Sacto and Clippers win out – who’s guarding Rudy Gay?

    Kobe’s our only healthy guy big enough to consistently guard a 3 – but then we have no guys that can guard a 2.

    I wonder if/when artest appeals, that he’ll get less.
    Normally they add +1 for the chance of an appeal. He might be back in 6 after a 3rd party arbitrator decides.

  13. NBAPA should appeal the length of the suspension based on precedent – legally the league still needs to show past precedent in it’s rulings also if love got 2 games, fisher 1 game, bell clothesline 1 game , them how arrest gets 7 does not make sense compared to past rulings which shows inconsistent behavior from the league which all players should not except as it could effect future rulings as well

  14. The ideal would be for round 1 to go 6 games + for MWP to be there for all of round 2. In fact, that could be the most likely. After all we went 6 with NOH last year.
    B@12+Curious@7: Please see earlier comments about The Evil Empire.

  15. Also it is only being reported by the media that harden has a concussion from the peek a boo picture to other reports that harden is in fact fine I think media coverage played too much of a hand when in real time the hit seemed like an elbow, an elbow that rocked harden but elbow – way overblown

  16. agreed we should move on, however I am very concerned about Metta’s state of mind when he comes back, will he still be the same guy from the last month?..I doubt it

  17. This punishment is similar to officiating in the NBA. They call fouls differently depending on the players involved, home/away, score, etc. It is not always fair or objective.

    So yes, given some of the flagrant fouls that have had no penalty (Wade on Kobe) or small penalties (KLove on Scola), Ron’s 7 game suspension may seem like a lot. Given the general disgust with the play and MWP’s history, this penalty may not be enough.

    Looks like the NBA split the difference, more or less, so they could preserve their image as best they could.

  18. this will by my “wish” post. i wish stern and stu jackson did not take prior actions or incidents into account.

    i wish it could be handled with precedent set within the year it is played. it is not fair to world peace or any other player to be penalized for an act he dis eight years ago, especially since that act was punished already and that person served that punishment.

    Love got 2 games when he stepped on scola’s head. Peace gets 7 for his prior actions? just doesnt seem right.

    Ebanks needs to be ready.

  19. the other Stephen April 24, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    it just occurred to me that russell westbrook looks like smushy face from jarhead. if we meet okc in the playoffs, i’ll be drinking to that call sign.

  20. I’m happy to see this regular season coming to an end. This compression has been a roller coaster of stories and turmoil. I’d like to see the Laker’s tack on 17 more wins before Summer vacation. Get ‘em.

  21. We knew he would miss time, so all this means is that Thursday in Sacramento is a must-win. We do NOT want to play Memphis with only Ebanks and Matt Barnes’ bad wheel to guard Rudy Gaye.

  22. Well, I’m glad a decision has been made. The Lakers now must move on and get ready.

    Ron Peace made his bed hard and now he and his team must lie in it. The ELBOW, to me, was a case of temporary insanity. For that one moment, Metta was completely out of himself. I hope Harden makes a complete recovery.

    And, DS makes a very valid point about how Artest has been hurt by this, as well. Just a bad situation all around. Metta has got to exercise better judgement and control of his behavior.

    I’m not going to address the length of the suspension. It is what it is. Ron and the team must move past it.

  23. On that same note, Dallas is a much worse matchup for us without MWP. Fingers crossed for Denver!

  24. More concerned with sprained ankle of Barnes and the smashed hand in practice of Devin. Right now the Lakers have no SF.

    Metta was a minus for the first 40 games so we can win without him but having to play Kobe at SF and Blake at SG is scary.

    Thanks Metta Mess for the mess you left your team in!

  25. Atl up by 5 with 1:33 to go in the 3rd Q against the Clips.

  26. I think the suspension was a little heavy, but, with all the media circus, it was not unexpected.

    Now for the real guilty party in all this – the ABC and other media outlets.

    Since it was very physical and because it was MWP, ABC felt justified in going after Ron from the time it happened. It was a complete firestorm and there was absolutely no moderation. It was all – how many hits can we get.

    This was a putrid situation. First, because it happened and second, because of how the media covered it.

    Enough! Now to plan for the playoffs.

  27. So the Lakers will be without MWP for their first 6 playoff games. At worst, this means that MWP will miss two games from the 2nd round or, at best, will be available for a game 7 in the first round. It’s almost a pick your poison type of scenario because obviously I (as many) would prefer to have MWP available for the entire 2nd round, but that would have to come at the price of an extended first round and additional anxiety.

    It would almost behoove the Lakers to have an extended first round so they will be at full strength for the 2nd round. This may be the only time in my life where I would prefer that the Lakers do not sweep their first round opponent.

  28. David Stern’s statement, as reported by Yahoo:

    “The concussion suffered by James Harden demonstrates the danger posed by violent acts of this kind, particularly when they are directed at the head area,” NBA commissioner David Stern said in a statement announcing the punishment. “We remain committed to taking necessary measures to protect the safety of NBA players, including the imposition of appropriate penalties for players with a history of on-court altercations.”

  29. Ha Atlanta up by 13 so Lakers could start Mel Counts, Jack Roberts, Smush Parker, Mike Thompson and Matt Kemp on Thursday and rest the others.

  30. Mitch Kupchak’s statement:

    “Metta has for the most part been a model citizen both on and off the court since joining the Lakers,” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said in a statement. “Still, his most recent lapse in judgement is not to be condoned or accepted. His actions could have seriously injured another player, and his absence during this suspension will hurt our team as well. While we accept the league’s decision, we will be supportive of Metta and try to help him be more professional on the court.”

  31. I think League wanted to make sure he wasn’t available for first round. Can’t lay down a judgment based on rounds. So they went for 6 playoff games. That’s about what most series would go.

    Time to adjust and move on.

  32. 2 more games than I expected, but totally fair and acceptable n my opinion. If left up to the ‘Media Mouths’, Metta would’ve been banned for life from the A (Association).

    Now it’s time to progress forward and hopefully (based on Snoopy’s comments) everything is fine with Ebanks because obviously he’ll be relied upon to ease the loss of Metta.

    Matt B sitting out the finale is for precautionary messures hopefully and more than likely, G-Lock will get his number called. Therefore, he better be n the gym getting up them reps.

    Got confidence n the fact that Metta will return Focused & Ready (hopefully, this season) and pulling for Harden to snap back with no ill effects due to the Concussion .. But to Brick every damn jumper he attempts n the 2nd round against us.

  33. nice work Hawks! On a less importent note looks like Durant is going hard for the scoring title. I do hope Kobe isent tempted to play Thursday

  34. Flippers let me introduce you to my little friend!

    Memphis!

    Ha ha ha

  35. Pacific Division/3rd seed is pretty much locked up. Pressure is off on the Kings game. Best to heal up and prep for round 1.

  36. Hawks beat the Clippers 109-102. Lakers clinch the #3 seed. I would like to see Pau Gasol get the game off Thursday against the Kings and get some much needed rest.

  37. The media has long been out of control and needs to be held accountable for its egregious sensationalism.

    Hopefully, MWP will use this time to get some rest and come back reinvigorated. Return to the Lakers with a will to win a championship.

    MWP acts like nothing bothers him, but I’m afraid he’s read all of the negative comments about his character and elbow intent.

    MWP, workout and get ready to return and help the Lakers.

    We’ll finally get to see some of the young players for extended playing time in the last game of the season. Youngsters better be ready, run the offense, play hard, rebound and make some shots.

  38. Pretty much? No it’s completely locked. It’s clinched. Only change could be Memphis passing clips.

  39. Chris Paul sure is an amazing flopper. Memphis better be ready for a major flopfest with Griffin and Paul in the first round.

  40. The key isn’t to give any players the game off. The key is to play a bit in the first and third qtrs and play other players the rest of the time.

    We have 3 days off till the game and 2 more days before the playoffs start. Our starting 5 need a bit of work on Thursday night.

  41. Hope we rest Pau and Sessions. Play Andrew 20 to 25 minutes. The only starter who may need normal minutes is Kobe. He needs to find his rhythm after sitting out.

  42. 140ChrViolation April 24, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    Regular season is over. Ebanks, Goudlock, Morris, Hill, Murphy, McRob, and Blake can take the majority of minutes on Thursday. Maybe stick Bynum on a treadmill and get that heart pumping. Lots of therapy, naps and film. This is the real shortened season, 16 wins to #17

  43. Ha. You don’t play any of the regulars at all. None of them. This game means nothing. Better to get a week off right before the playoffs. The Lakers are very lucky to now have to play a game until the playoffs.

  44. If Durant doesn’t play in tomorrow’s game (highly doubt it), Kobe would need 35 points on Thursday for the scoring title. I think Durant’s going to solidify the title by scoring a ton tomorrow. But, you can never count out Kobe…he’s scored 29 and 38 vs Sacto this season.

  45. Darius
    I enjoy your insight and thoughts pre and after games BUT you tend to go to far in directing opionions. I get it that you don’t want racist comments but don’t act as though it doesn’t exist and therefore should be ignored on a blog that discusses the Lakers in Truth. If you want to “like” all comments perhaps this blog should be on facebook instead. I clearly understanding monitoring unnecessary comments (as you well should) but quit always being dictator or words—-all the time…….some people have valid thoughts that are not just rants!

    Anyway if you want to stick to strictly speaking X’s and O’s on this blog than you be the leader…….If you step out the box then others will follow with opinions—some you may not Durant scored 32 tonight?

    Hope I didn’t offend you…….as you appear very word sensitive at times.

  46. With the 7 game suspension, Metta will only miss the first two games of next season..awesome.

  47. I don’t know what was fair, but all they did was split the difference of what the 100000 experts on ESPN were calling for. David stern watched first take for a couple days then issued the suspension.

    Oh well

  48. The seven game suspension is reasonable and less than what we have expected. Lakers will not sweep any team on 1st round, the best is 4-1 or even 4-2 against Nuggets. Therefore, we will see MWP in the 2nd round. The loss of Artest would mean a gain for Ebanks and Hill, not bad tradeoffs plus the fact MWP could have his own sweet time harnessing his skills on the FT line.

    In order to satisfy the segment of fans who are asking for lifetime ban of MWP, perhaps he should apologize to James Harden and to both organizations for creating a fuss of detraction caused by his unwarranted celebratory behavior. In the last three years, Lakers has done a good job in changing Artest being a good citizen, I think that incident last Sunday was just an isolated case and he paid dearly for it. Laker fans should now focus on the playoffs.

  49. Off topic:

    Kevin Durant went 7-19 and had 1 assist tonight.

    If Kobe only had 1 assist in a game he’d be lambasted for being a selfish gunner.

  50. Ronbo !!!

  51. if you rest the starters on Thursday, then they might be rusty come Sunday.

  52. Rest Bynum, no need to take that risk.

  53. #45. I don’t know any other way to say this so here it goes – thanks for the support by visiting the site and for reading. And, since you seem to read the site, I’d like to direct you to the commenting guidelines at the top of the page. In those guidelines you’ll get a better explanation as to why I’d prefer those comments not be in play here. Again, thanks for the support of the site.

  54. Call up Eyenga play him. No vets see the floor.

  55. Kobe this year vs dallas 39% fg

    Kobe this year vs Denver 28% fg

    Tough series ahead.

  56. Ron vs Dallas 7 pts 5.2 reb 2.7 ast 29%. April 7 -20 fg 18 – 6 – 4 – 1stl

    Ron vs Denver 7.7 pts 4.5 reb 2 ast 33%. April 5 – 12 fg 14 – 8 – 3 – 5 stl

  57. @inwit

    No need to rest bynum too much. He got plenty of rest on sunday.

    Too soon?

  58. @56- Afflolo is a tough defender on Kobe, but Denver has absolutely no answer for Bynum and Gasol.

  59. I’m sorry guys. I can’t help but be furious at this suspension. I honestly believe this is very heavy handed.

    I understand that the extent of the injury played a huge role here, but where was this concern when Kobe suffered a concussion and a broken nose? A little consistency from the league would be nice.

  60. Ron deserved it. Not the image we need for kids or teens on national TV.

    Think we can survive Ron’s 7 points 2 rebounds a game aganist Dallas or Denver.

    Look at the whole season not the last two weeks. Lakers were winning while he was shooting 32% and some were yelling amnesty.

    Let’s get to the 2nd round where the real fun will start.

  61. Metta paying the price of being Ron. I think another player in the same situation would have gotten 3-5 game penalty. I feel bad for the guy, think he has made huge strides towards being the person he wants to be..but that was quite an elbow.

    I forget, what did Fisher get for leveling Scola a few years ago? I think just one game-that was just as bad, just not near the head…

    C’mon Lakes, hang on through the first round, nice to have him back for round two. Have to admit I’m super worried though.

  62. Ebok, you’re not seriously suggesting that Harden flopped when Metta hit him? First of all, Harden didn’t see it coming. Second, it clearly made serious contact to his head right behind his ear. If you or me or any normal sized person got hit by that Metta elbow we’d probably still be in the hospital right now.

    Every player in the NBA has flopped at least once. It doesn’t mean that every time they get fouled it’s a flop. And if it was a flop, why is Harden sitting out games? Your insinuation is disgusting and you should be ashamed of yourself,

  63. What happened to Dwade when he broke Kobe’s neck in an exhibition game? No fines or suspension was imposed. As Cdog, KenOak and Aaron have stated during the in-game thread the league has set a Double Standard in imposing a penalty against certain players. A heavy fine and two-three game suspension should have been the appropriate penalty for Ron Artest.

  64. #60 Ebok, that is interesting.

  65. In light of the 1-game suspension Fisher received for “blowing up” Luis Scola and the 2-game suspension Kevin Love received for stomping on Scola’s face, I thought 7 games was a bit excessive for MWP’s elbow.

    But MWP’s history played into the decision, as did the game being on national TV between two premier teams (if someone on Sacramento threw the same elbow at someone on Minnesota on a Tuesday night, I doubt the suspension is the same).

    I thought 5 games (what AB-17 received for leveling JJ Barea) was more appropriate.

    Some of the comments about “flopping” are interesting. I recall when the MWP elbow happened in real time, I wasn’t sure if he had genuinely hit Harden or if Harden had “flopped” to play up how badly he was hit.

    That’s one of the unfortunately side effects of “flopping” of various kinds becoming nearly ubiquitous on both sides of the ball.

  66. Rest Bynum and be glad he made it healthy to the playoffs for once. Why risk him tweaking a knee in a meaningless game. His effort the last couple of weeks is irrelevant now.

  67. Darius,

    No politics. Got it. Okay. But is calling Metta “thuggish” really apolitical. Because I think it’s as political as highlighting the racist undertones of that type of language. And for this site to support one type of politic over another says something.

    7 games is too much, but about right for the Association given the media and fan backlash.

  68. Based upon all the crap that Harden has given Kobe this year and during the lockout, I saw it coming. Ron Ron loves Kobe and he put the puppy in his place. He knew what he was doing and now will serve his time. It will have an effect on both teams. Denver or Dallas doesn’t require as much as going against OKC or Memphis. That was some playground (Rucker Park) crap.

  69. For the record, I also thought the suspension was too severe. OKC wants to talk trash and show how tough they are, well, we will find out in round 2. If you wouldn’t act like that in the park, don’t act tough when you know you are safe because of Stern and national tv.

  70. My first reaction was that five games would be about right. After a few dozen repeats and the clueless put downs of Ron Ron i was prepared for at least 10, so this is OK by me. After watching the thing in ultra slo-mo about ten different times, I still don’t know Ron’s true intent. But that cocked elbow and remorseless follow through was baaad. In his slight defense, Hardin was kind of accidentally on purpose crowding him. Also, I honestly think he was going for the body. In slo-mo you can see the elbow getting deflected off Hardin’s shoulder into his upper neck/ear.

  71. “But in the end, he just can’t control himself.”
    That has to be terrifying for the Lakers. Suspensions haven’t gotten World Peace to think before he acts. Fines haven’t done it. Phil Jackson couldn’t reach him. Mike Brown doesn’t stand a chance.
    Time and time again he tries to make progress, turn a new leaf, attempt a new approach. No one doubts he means it. Yet time and time again there he is, this time Sunday throwing an elbow at Oklahoma City’s James Harden for no apparent reason.

    From Dan Wetzel on Yahoo Sports. Hard to argue.

  72. Seems like the universe has slighted our beloved franchise this entire season.

    First the new CBA aimed to specifically cut down our franchise’s spending ability.
    Then the CP3 trade gets nixed by league office.
    Then the heart and soul of the team, LO, asks to be traded.
    Then Kobe’s best friend on the team and co-captain gets traded away.
    Now, to wrap up the regular season, we lose the player dubbed by experts to be this year’s X-factor for at least the first round just as he is rounding into playoff shape.

    A season like this just has to have a storybook ending, doesn’t it..? I’ll be hitting the bars in my #37 Lakers jersey for the playoff games.

  73. Seems spot on to me the suspension. It is a little extra hard, as Ron has earned that with the body of work he has behind him.

    If he hits him on his temples he could have killed him, and even though I have grown to like Ron and admire his defense, I think he deserved 7-10 games of suspension.

  74. you guys act like these professional athletes are the same as you geeks. fighting, elbows, this stuff is their nightly work. this is what you pay for. please stop moralizing now. MWP crossed the line, he did something obvious. he got whatever was on his back the heck off of it.

    it’s not like he’s going around town like godzilla or something. this is how the game is played:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVZxFE57mQU

    this is how a star does it:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUxsK_2imYI

    elbows, wrestling, the game is rougher than you guys could handle. that’s why Kobe is laughing at reporters in recent interveiws. http://www.nba.com/lakers/video/120424kobebryant

    look, it was out of line, he got a suspension worse than bruce bowen’s kicks ever did.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edb6bz_C9ms
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmI4r1XviVI
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8f8r5gRTENc
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VDMaNyYCMk&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PL09DA71AAEDB56BA5
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-ZPWnf9fKU

    the point is, he’s not an angel, but by NBA standards he’s not a bad guy. unless you cross him, which is as it should be…

    i’m a little worried, but i’m also excited for the playoffs.

  75. Now we’ll have an opportunity to see if Ebanks lives up to his Ariza-likeness and scorches the playoffs for a one-and-done series of performances. I think there will be some benefit in having to rely more on our bench during a series that we should be able to pull through with a victory.

  76. Also, I have a question that will likely be taken very badly. Some serious conspiracy theory follows.

    When teams report injuries, are they required to give evidence to the league (medical records). I guess I was wondering if the Thunder’s front office could report Harden as sustaining a concussion without there being one and hold out on evaluations in hopes of inciting the league to take strict disciplinary actions against MWP. I know, I know. Get over it. I guess I wouldn’t be surprised if OKC was hoping for a 10+ game suspension that would effectively take MWP out of the second round.

  77. It seems as though the Bynum and MWP suspensions have bookended this crazy, mixed-up season. The Lakers have overcome a lot of change and adversity and emerged as Pacific Division Champs. We, as fans, usually don’t pay much attention to division titles, but, to me, this one is different. The Show deserves a lot of credit for a good job. But, it’s just the start.

    GO LAKERS!!

  78. Warren Wee Lim April 25, 2012 at 3:00 am

    Ronron’s suspension is about fair. Given his history, which I’m sure was at play here, just take it for what it is and move on. Take this opportunity that we are a faster team with Ebanks and Barnes at the 3 against Denver, who should be our main focus right now.

    Why not Dallas? Its because Dallas would quite prefer to play the OKC Thunder and the Nuggets would prefer to play the Lakers. I have no significant evidence to substantiate such claim but it is what I believe to be the inevitable outcome, given that Denver holds the key and not Dallas. John Hollinger calls the difference of the most-likely outcome to be “too close to call” and therefore I pick the team that’s ahead right now.

    That being said, I reiterate that Ron being out for the 1st round atleast will be quite a blessing in disguise for us since we will be a faster team to cope (note, emphasis on cope and not copy) with a fast Nuggets team.

    Nuggets:
    1st in scoring
    1st in assists
    7th in rebounding
    29th in oppg

    I repeat, dead last in oppg. And while they are the league’s best offense (function of # of possessions per game relating to pace) they also give up the most points. In a sense, they are the 2007 Phoenix Suns.

    Matching up, Al Harrington seems to be our nightmare matchup. While it would be nice to have a Ron Artest to body on him, we have no one of that skillset defensively to match him. Barnes would have to take the job,

    Andre Miller is a tough cover. He has always been a very intelligent player. His ability to post up Sessions and Blake worries me. In the same light, Tywon Lawson is lightning quick despite being on the heavy side.

    Gallo is a lengthy and creative player. He is the key to George Karl’s system leading the league in assists because he is the perfect example of a point forward. Plus he has the size to play the 4 if need be, which I suspect Denver will be doing so in matching up against our twin towers.

    Javale McGee is a good blocker, extremely athletic but lacks the necessary goods when it involves using the non-physical aspects of his game. In short, he is dumb to be blunt. With Bynum’s size and abilities, this is one of the spots we’ll have the advantage on since Nene was a more effective defender despite being shorter due to his strength in the post.

    Kenneth Fareid is 1 guy I particularly like. Even to the point of hinting that if the Lakers do end up trading Gasol, Denver would be such a great fit due to Farreid. Thats a compliment to KF and not much a proposal, we need to focus on the job at hand and not worry about next season.

    All that said, Lakers in 5 out of our sheer size. Its something Denver cannot match, Denver cannot accomplish and simply have no answer to. I suspect Bynum will be the 25/8/1 version in this series as supposed to the 19/12/3 we need him to be against OKC and SA.

  79. Warren Wee Lim April 25, 2012 at 3:09 am

    As far as locking up the #3 seed is concerned, Kobe needs to outscore Durant by atleast 12 points and score not lower than 42 to win the scoring title.

    He can do that in Sacramento if the team rested Bynum, played the same lineup we did against OKC during 4th and both overtimes.

  80. Warren Wee Lim April 25, 2012 at 3:14 am

    Oh and to support my notion that DEN wants us, have a look at Pickaxe and Roll and see that they DO want us.

    Some comments from there:

    [i]I also hope Gallo and Ty exploit LA’s holes to the fullest. They should each be able to average 20+ in the playoffs against the lakers with Sessions on Ty and Barnes on Gallo. Matchups don’t get much better than that in the playoffs.[/i]

    [i]eh i dont really think he’d over power gallo, but brewer… he’d destroy him
    this is where we miss nene a little bit
    Absolutley miss Nene against Gasol. [/i]

    [i]and 6 hard fouls from Mozzy and I’ll be happy[/i]

    when Bynum is out

    the Lakers wont have anyone who can deal with JaVale so he should automatically get at least 16 minutes per game

    Also, Moz plays Bynum much better than KK does because Moz is a little stronger and more physical. I expect a lot of JaVale and Moz vs Bynum

    They basically are saying they want us. That way it will be a “5 game series and MWP can be back by game 2 against OKC”. Of all prosports fans, I can’t stand how badly purple their glasses are that they wear. I can’t wait until Kobe retires. Then Stern will just give them the frozen envelope

    Just make of it what you can.

  81. Kareem – as far as I know, Harden’s initial evaluation was done by Gary Vitti (in which he was actually cleared to play). He then later started showing symptoms and was taken back – but I’m not sure who evaluated these symptoms, if it was Vitti again or the Thunder. But I do believe that players now have to go a series of concussion tests done by someone independent of that player’s organization, to keep things impartial.

  82. A few points:

    -I couldn’t care less about a scoring title. Hopefully Kobe feels the same

    -Since the Lakers have wrapped up the 3rd seed, Gasol & Kobe need not play the final game vs the Kings

    -MWP’s 7 game suspension, the Commish got it right. Returning in round 2 vs the Thunder in OKC will be not be easy. His return in front of those OKC fans will boost the drama & ratings.

    -Bynum, mvp of opening series

    -Lakers in 6 vs Denver w/o MWP.

  83. Don’t you think giving Ron a 7 game suspension isn’t appropriate? I think they have to take into account the shortened season…

    A lot of up and down season. Hopefully we all smile in the end.

  84. #71. I was thinking more along the lines of the “don’t drink and comment” guideline. ;)

  85. mud@78 and elsewhere.
    Spot on man. This game of basketball is full of elbows and kicks. I’d like to see every elbow that Dwyane Wade has thrown over his career. Seven games was about 3 games too much, but it is less than I thought Stern might have thrown our way.

    It seems like the punishment might have been lighter, but the media truly drives the narrative on this stuff and some people eat it up. Ask yourselves this- If MWP’s elbow would have struck Harden’s shoulder, instead of bouncing up into his head, would this have been as big of an incident? Elbows happen. They *are a part of the game whether we like it or not.

    Now- Go Kobe! Get your scoring title in this last meaningless game. You know Durant is going to come out firing to try and put it away. Kobe will get around 40 tonight.

  86. Denver is seemingly a bad match up for the Lakers in the first round but then again we thought that NO was a good matchup and NO was able to extend that series. The stat to watch is points in the paint. If Denver is able to stay relatively even or gain the advantage in the paint they will extend or win the series

  87. I do hope for denver but it will not be am easy out – loss of metta hurts us with multiple guys – gallo, Harrington, Lawson/affalo if he goes into lockdown mode – plus their speed will be am issue eager for series write ups

  88. Is my alcoholism that apparent…

  89. Kareem,
    It’s been a rough season, man. We all have our vices. (as I eat a macaroon.)

  90. Well, I called it 6 and hoped for 4, but 7 seems reasonably fair, considering the talking heads were nearly calling for his summary execution.

    From a cynical, media perspective, 7 takes him partially or completely out of the first round and his first game back at earliest would be a Game 7 vs. Denver/Dallas, at home, and at latest (assuming they get to the second round) Game 3 of the winner of the 2-7 matchup, which figures to be OKC. This would be the first game in LA, regardless of opponent.

    Think Stern and his brain trust may have chosen the number of games to heighten anticipation for his return? Whichever game is his first back, drama will be high, and so will ratings:

    If round one goes 4 games:
    Game 3 in LA (or at #7 home)

    If round one goes 5 games:
    Game 2 vs. 2/7 winner (95% chance it’ll be OKC) – at OKC (or home if #7 pulls the upset)

    If round one goes 6 games:
    Game 1 vs. 2/7 winner – at OKC/LA

    If round one goes 7 games:
    Game 7 vs. 6-seed – in LA

    Any way you slice this, it’s high drama. I’m hoping for, but not terribly hopeful about the result, a round 2 matchup with OKC. Show these kids what the playoffs are about.

  91. Here is my biggest problem with this whole thing. Ron is clearly discriminated against by the league office due to his history and reputation.

    There are plenty of elbow-throwers in the NBA who simply miss their targets most of the time. Most notably:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lz0-HvMNyM

    Dwight got 1 game suspension for doing the exact same thing Ron did. In fact, he actually hit Dalembert on the head with the tip of his elbow (this is far worse than getting hit by a tricep on a larger surface area like Harden got) It is also not the first time Dwight has thrown his Thor-like elbows with full intent to land them on someone. But he is a superstar, and is clearly protected by the league.

    Here’s to Ron coming back full force.

  92. #96 Avidon – The league office did not discriminate against Ron. As in the crininal justice system, they have every right to take into consideration past behavior. It has been reported that this is his 14th suspencion.
    As a non Laker fan I think the suspencion should have been 8 games. What I do not want to see is the Laker fans welcolming him back in a game 7 as a returning hero. It will be a low momment in the franchise history.

  93. Stern is not “the criminal justice system”; he is an owners’ rep.

    I am not that worked up about the length of the suspension, but the sermonizing and sanctimony are tiresome.

  94. 14 & 16 – Shaun
    27 & 41 – Craig W.
    38 – Chearn
    48 – marques
    61 – MannyP
    64 – 1/2decaf1/2regular

    Definitely agree on your points.

    The PA needs to appeal this immediately.
    Too bad Billy Hunter is more interested in using his time to find a way to give another PA job to a relative.

    Seven games is outrageous because there is no similar precedent.

    Oh, and isn’t it interesting that Harden is cleared to play 1 day after the suspension. What a coincidence! I’m absolutely positive the timing had no chance of being related.

    I hope the Lakers stay aggressive and don’t let all the talking heads spewing gibberish make them meek or passive in their play over this foul.

    I’m VERY disappointed in Mike Brown, Kobe, and the rest of the Lakers for not supporting MWP more publicly and vocally.
    I understand Kupchak’s statement since he feels the pressure to be PC as a GM.
    I’m especially disappointed in Kobe.
    I think the Celtics would not have backed off supporting any veteran starter, such as KG, if he had done the same. They would never look meek about it.

    I agree with the comments about the video in real-time versus slow-motion.
    Trust the look of it in real-time, not the slow-motion. After all, the players actions were in real time.
    It’s the same with a hard hit by a cornerback or safety in football. In real-time, you cringe and say wow. But in slow motion, it doesn’t look so intense. Slow-motion is only good to see things like what points actually contacted.
    The point is, the real-time view shows the true impact and energy.

    I hope we get to the second round and knock OKC on their ass. Figuratively, of course.

    I hope the starters play the normal rotation in the first half against Sacramento. Then let the bench play the second half.

    40 – The Dude Abides
    Clipper flopfest. So true.

    Hopefully the NBA will make flopping a team technical foul, like a defensive 3 second call. The team not flopping gets 1 free throw and the game continues. No one gets tossed.

    60 – Ebok
    Wow, just wow! Hadn’t seen that. Apparently the talking heads and the NBA hadn’t either.
    And Harden pulled that same move of walking into Chandler to do the Celtic style move of “I’m going to show you I’m dominant”.
    Incredible.
    Now it’s certain OKC held off clearing Harden until the suspension announcement.
    OKC’s version of a “Green Wheelchair moment”?

    63 – JayCarty
    Fisher-Scola – 1 game. Shoulder to chest AND head to chin. Fisher’s head hit Scola’s chin. That’s why Fisher’s head was cut open. Is your chin part of your head? Could have broken Scola’s jaw, knocked out teeth, caused a concussion, or even killed him! Sorry for that last part. Too much talking head garbage going around.

    65 – 1/2decaf1/2regular
    The funniest part is Hubie Brown trying to comment as though serious! That was hilarious. Why didn’t he just say that these are two turrible floppers who couldn’t get an acting job if they paid for it?

    73 – inwit
    Exactly, great point. OKC is trying to be Celtics West. OK, the Lakers know how to deal with that.

    76 – Avidon
    78 – mud
    90 – KenOak
    Excellent posts.

    96 – Avidon
    You’re right, the overhead shows clearly an intentional elbow to the head.
    A 1 game suspension in 2009.
    But he’s a Superstar/franchise player.