Ron Artest’s Choke Job at the Free Throw Line

by June 14, 2010

Not only did he get torched by Paul Pierce, but Ron-Ron bricked two critical freebies at the worst possible time for the Lakers in Game 5. From the LA Times: “The Lakers had just cut a 12-point lead down to five points, the momentum in Game 5 of the NBA Finals suddenly shifting away from the Celtics, the opportunity to keep Boston reeling presented to Ron Artest when he stepped to the free-throw line. Make two free throws and the Celtics’ lead is sliced to three points. Miss two free throws and the Celtics get a reprieve. Artest was unable to deliver, which was just another moment in the game in which the 6-7 forward failed to help the Lakers in the pivotal game of the best-of-seven series. And after the Lakers lost to the Celtics, 92-86, Sunday night at TD Garden, after he scored just seven points on two-for-nine shooting, made just one of four free throws, grabbed just two rebounds, scored just seven points and lost in his matchup against Boston’s Paul Pierce, Artest stuck to his familiar refrain. After all 82 regular-season games and now all 21 playoff games, Artest has maintained he was not looking back, that now he is looking ahead to Game 6 Tuesday night at Staples Center. ‘I just got to keep on moving on,’ Artest said. ‘Good or bad, I’ve got to move on. I’ve still got a game to play.’ That next game is the biggest of the season so far for the Lakers and Artest. ‘It was tough,’ said Artest, who is making just 46.7% of his free throws in the Finals. ‘You want those to go down. I’ve got to get to the free-throw line a little bit earlier in the game so I can get to the free-throw line and make my free throws. I should have made them anyway. I had four chances to make free throws. Next time I’ll knock them down.”‘