NBA: Ron Artest Is Model of Consistency for LA Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers are entering the 2010 NBA postseason with concerns about their consistency, desire, point guard play, and their reserves, but forward Ron Artest has provided a temporary reprieve with his play in recent weeks.

Artest has quietly began to round into the type of defensive presence the Lakers envisioned when they acquired him from the Houston Rockets, but his performance has been overshadowed by the team's recent struggles.

Los Angeles will earn the Western Conference's number one seed. However, unlike last year, the Lakers seem to be entering the postseason with a whimper instead of the bang expected of the defending NBA champions.

Some blame the inability of Derek Fisher to defend any other point guard, or the lack of production from the bench, but it's telling that former trouble-maker Artest has been a picture of stability amongst all the current upheaval.

Instead of imploding and falling victim to the circumstances around him, Artest has been a model of discipline and has tried to let the majority of his presence be felt on the court rather than the microphone of an interviewer.

Artest even went as far as to discard the weird hair color and strange script in his head in favor of a more traditional haircut, which draws focus away from his eccentricity and instead places it on the merits of his game.

Surprisingly, Artest has been the most steady and productive member of the Lakers' team recently, which may have a lot to do with him maturing and recognizing the opportunity at hand.

Artest desperately wants to win a NBA championship and he understands the window for accomplishing that is small, so he is seizing the moment with his superior defensive play in hopes of attaining that goal.

Make no mistake, Artest will play a major role if the Lakers hope to return to their championship glory of 2009, and his ability to defend the opposition's best p...

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