Celtics vs. Lakers 2010: Ron Artest Saves the Day, L.A. Repeats as NBA Champs

The Most Valuable Player Award trophy for the NBA Finals belongs to Kobe Bryant.  He clearly was the best player of the entire series and no one was as consistent as Bryant.

However, Kobe Bryant didn’t win the Finals MVP Award on the basis of his performance in Game Seven. 

A quick look at the box score would be deceiving, as Bryant scored 23 points and grabbed 15 rebounds.  Kobe had moments where he played well, but even his most ardent supporters would have to concede that his shot selection in the first half was horrendous. 

Kobe took 24 shots on his way to shooting only 25 percent from the floor.  Bryant, normally an 80 percent or better free throw shooter, struggled from the free throw line, going 11 for 15.

Bryant acknowledged that he did not play well in accepting the MVP trophy, stating that he was pressing and that he was glad that his teammates were there for him, especially the “Spaniard” Pau Gasol.

Gasol played well, really well.  Gasol took advantage of the injury to Boston Celtic center Kendrick Perkins; Gasol had 19 points and 18 rebounds. The most impressive statistic for Gasol was his nine offensive rebounds.

While the end destination is not yet guaranteed, Gasol’s performance has likely taken him one step closer to induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame. 

The Los Angeles Lakers player, however, that saved the day was not Gasol.  The player that saved the day was Ron Artest.

Artest came to the Lakers to provide toughness and be the team’s defensive stopper.   Artest lived up to his end of the bargain.

Artest is a “bad man” who is incredibly strong. Artest ripped the ball out of the hands of the Celtics as if they were little children.

On a couple of occasions, Paul Pierce made the mistake of allowing Artest to get underneath the...

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