Tuesday, June 1st, 2010 at 10:00 am  |  23 responses

Paul Pierce: Ready for Ron Artest

Pierce knows what awaits him starting on Thursday night, and is aware that Ron-Ron will do just about anything to try and slow him down. From ESPN: “We’ve been playing in the playoffs since he was in Indiana,’ said Pierce. ‘He’s a very competitive guy, he’s been on the All-Defense team, and we’ve matched up good over 10-11 years. He’s one of the best players I’ve played against and he takes pride in that — being able to lock down his opponent, night in and night out.’ The addition of Artest and his defense against Pierce is sure to be a focal point in this series given that it’s one of the few notable roster changes since Boston topped the Lakers in the 2008 Finals. Celtics coach Doc Rivers couldn’t help but shake his head at all the talk about how Artest doesn’t fit in Los Angeles. ‘I heard all year how Artest doesn’t fit, how he hasn’t fit,’ said Rivers. ‘I’m thinking, ‘He’s perfect.’ He’s allowed Kobe [Bryant] not to guard the best player every night. It’s clear, you can see it in Kobe’s offensive numbers. He’s as fresh as I’ve ever seen him and it’s due to Ron Artest. He’s bee perfect for them.’ Artest’s ability to check Pierce, and the fact that Pierce must guard Bryant at the other end, makes for a difficult challenge for Boston’s captain. ‘Ron’s the perfect complement to Kobe,’ said Pierce. ‘We saw [in 2008], Kobe was going around from me to Ray Allen to [Rajon] Rondo. He doesn’t have that pressure now. They’ve got a guy in Ron Artest who can do that. When you have that type of guy [like Artest, then Kobe] doesn’t have to think so hard on defense. He can control the game, make clutch shots, and will his team to win.’ But that doesn’t mean Pierce is worried about the challenge of guarding Bryant. ‘Well, I figure it’s like this: I’ve been through series with Wade, LeBron, and Vince Carter,’ said Pierce. ‘I’m not saying that those guys are on Kobe’s level. But mentally, physically, I’m ready for it.’ But that also means Pierce has to be ready for Artest both mentally and physically as well.”

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  • silverselectjd

    Lock his ass down Ron Ron, lock it down!

  • MrVanEk

    Thats right RonRon.. Go get’em!

  • Rich

    this is gonna be an interesting situation, Pierce likes to body up with a defender and create space by either by spins fakes or the defender being reach happy, artest also likes to body up, cutting out the spins, but makin him vulnerable to stupid fouls. I saw him lock up melo, but to be honest he is not as clever as Pierce. if artest can play with his head, Celtics better hope kg’s chirping gets in gasol’s head like he did with beasly lol

  • k-lang83

    I think they are going to have Kobe guard Rondo, and have Fisher chase Jesus off of screens. Yeah I wanna see Kobe defend Rondo. Kobe has been averaging 30 pts a game, he should take offense to Kenny Smith saying Rondo has been the best player in the playoffs. Artest has to make sure he stays out of foul trouble because Pierce is going to pull out his vast arsenal of pump-fake moves. At the same time Artest has to be in Gasol’s ear telling him not to let Garnett punk him and simultaneously keep a body on him. Bynum’s knee has been drained, he is going to have a little bounce in his step, he’s just too big for Perkins, and it seems like light-years of Howard in the post. L.O. is going to get you more points and rebounds than Rasheed Wallace, tell me I’m lying. The X Factor is the bench backcourt play, T.A. vs Brown. If the Lakers aren’t ready for a physical series they won’t repeat. Don’t cry about the fouls, just play.

  • zabba

    Mentally, physically and SEXUALLY.

  • MikeC.

    ^ Hilarious dude.

  • roman

    Get ready Allen, you will be needed for most of the offense. Run your .ss around like crazy.

  • http://slamonline.com/ niQ

    Is Kobe going to guard Rondo? Cause Fish ain’t got the legs for that…

  • Robb

    “… ‘I’m not saying that those guys are on Kobe’s level…” Exactly

  • naynay

    Rondo can’t shoot, fish should be able to play off him.

  • http://www.springbored.net letsmotor

    love the section in the link about ray. the only bad thing they have to say about him is that he wears a c’s jersey.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    This series should be outstanding. Every game will be a battle, I hope.

  • vtrobot

    ron has declined a little bit more quickly than PP, so i expect PP to still get decent #’s providing he’s not suspended for multiple games for joining into a riot that ron has started. allowing kobe to guard rondo should be huge. please step up big KG and jesus. not predicting anything as this series should be wild.

  • Rich

    kobe has to guard rondo in half court because if he is on ray allen theyre just gonna run him off screens for how ever long allen stays on the court. that is a battle of endurance and i doubt ray allen would lose in that competiton. its a great series because there’s no1 to hide on, theres great 2 way players on both teams. both are semi-healthy, so it will be a great final… unless bynum eats perkins

  • chingy

    Whoever wins this battle I think will win the chip.

  • Silverselectjd

    Fish won’t be able to keep up with Rondo, but he won’t have to. Lakers defence has seen Westbrook, DWill and Nash. Not a bad selection of pgs, and theyre still standing. Odom will be the deciding factor here. If he show’s up, candy n’ all, Lakers win.

    It’s has the potential to be one hell of a series.

  • hoodsnake

    Cs are gonna run out on Kobe and isolate him like they did LeBron. The man who needs to be on top of his game will be Ray Allen offensively and defensively. Cs in 5

  • LA Huey

    Don’t care who wins I just want an epic series. I can’t remember the last series with so many pivotal and interesting match-ups. I just hope LA’s starting 5 can gain a slight collective edge to balance out the fact the Cs’ bench has a distinct advantage against LA’s.

  • http://www.realcavsfans.com Anton

    Ah yes, Pierce Vs. Ron’s Defensive Reputation.

  • http://www.islate.org Apple iPad

    For those that say that Fish can’t still Rondo step for step physically are correct, but Fish can keep one step ahead of him mentally and so far thats been a problem for Rondo. Fisher has contained Deron Williams and Steve Nash. There are 2 games where Steve Nash did good for being their best player, but as a older Veteran player (Fisher)you don’t blow your energy on series you feel you are in your control of, you save it for the prize (like KG has done for this next series). The X factor is, if Ray Allen can hit 3′s on this new defense.(Which will probably be Kobe)

  • mytiman

    Ron’s the real X-Factor in this series. With Kobe not having to defend 3 guys in a game, he can dominate once again.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ The Promise

    Pierce will be the X factor in my opinion, if Boston wants to win. Artest is aggressive, so PP’s fakes are gonna get him some fouls against him. He knows Ron well, they have matched wits many times. My gut tells me that Pierce will get the upper hand, just for the fact that I think that he’s a better player than Artest, maybe not defensively, but Paul definately holds his own against formidable opponents, as is mentioned in the above article. Also, I’m not so sure that L.A. can play off Rondo like they did 2 years ago. He has proven he can make jumpshots, and not to mention, if you give him that room, thats also going to help his court vision, I think that would be obvious, since Fisher will probably be 3 to 5 feet off of him. I think that will allow Rondo to make some nice passes, maybe get some inside-out stuff goin for Pierce and Allen. Gonna be a great series, I simply can’t root for L.A., just can’t do it man. Too Hollywood for me. Celtics in 6.

  • mellmeister

    question here is, who’s going to guard kobe? ‘coz we all know ron-ron got pierce covered…
    get kobe covered like how they covered lebron? are you kidding me? LBJ is the best basketball player when it comes to skills (athleticism an all…) but if we are talking about team game… kobe is the best at it. he scores when he needs to. and besides… take kobe out of the lakers lineup, the lakers would still make the playoffs… but take out LBJ out of the cavs… then they will be lottery bound. ;P