Lakers forward Ron Artest was suspended one game without pay for his foul on Mavericks guard Jose Juan Barea in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals series against Dallas.
With 24.4 seconds left in the Mavericks’ 93-81 win over the Lakers, Artest reached out with his right hand and grabbed Barea by the face and essentially clotheslined him. Artest was immediately ejected after picking up his second technical foul.
The foul was classified a Flagrant Foul 2. Artest will miss Friday’s Game 3 in Dallas, with the Mavericks leading the best-of-seven series 2-0.
Matt Barnes likely will start in Artest’s place, keeping L.A.’s rotation of big men intact with Lamar Odom coming off the bench.
I don’t think Artest is that big a loss for LA. He doesn’t offer much in this series (no wing scorer to shut down) and he has been hurting the Lakers offense quite a bit.
I think Matt Barnes will do a good job in Artest’s absence.
I wonder who’ll replace Barnes off the bench though. Does Phil Jackson go with Luke Walton? Or go small with more playing time for Shannon Brown with Kobe at the three?
I don’t like the Lakers small perimeter combinations. I think they lose that battle with Dallas more often than not. I guess it depends on Luke Walton’s health. That bad back of his makes him a major question mark.