Lakers Confound You With Their Inconsistency


It couldn’t have happened a game too soon. Ron Artest, a strong defender all year for the Lakers, and throughout his NBA career, finally found his offensive range against the Suns in the closeout game of the Western Conference finals.

Artest was the last-second hero in Game 5, if you can classify four points and two-for nine shooting heroic. But Artest banked in the game-winner, off a Kobe Bryant air ball, with no time remaining.

In Game 6, he was the leading support to Bryant's 37 points, which made Kobe the unquestioned hero. As usual.

Artest’s offensive barrage, which had been non-existent all season, arrived just in the nick of time. Otherwise, the Lakers-Suns series might have gone the full seven games, with a strong possibility that the Suns, and not the Lakers, would have faced the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals.

While everyone is focused on the upcoming rematch between the Celtics and the Lakers, I am still confounded by the Lakers’ Western Conference finals with the Suns. I've felt the same way about their entire season.

I know Lakers’ fans will cringe when they read this, but I believe the Suns had the better all-around team. L.A. had the most incredible player to step on an NBA court since Michael Jordan. Fortunately, one of their players, who had been cold all year at the offensive end, suddenly caught fire.

Ron Artest delivered just when they needed it.

The Bryant-Artest combination was enough to overcome the better all-around Phoenix team, which had fought back from huge double-digit deficits to nearly pull out Games 5 and 6.

The 2009-2010 Lakers are a true enigma.

Not only are the Lakers inconsistent from game to game, they seem to embrace inconsistency from half-to-half and from quarter-to-quarter. One quarter they are on fire. The next quarter they are burnt-out embers.

In both ...

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