PDA

View Full Version : Ron Artest to Likely Start at 4



Rockets Fanatic
07-30-2008, 02:19 PM
There were a lot of contending teams that Ron Artest could have helped. What's unique about the Houston Rockets, however, is they're about the only ones he'll help more on offense than defense.



For most contenders, the lure of Artest was in his much-lauded defensive skill, while the concern was that he wouldn't tone it down on the offensive end and take a back seat to other star players who scored more easily.



For the Rockets, however, getting Artest is mostly about offense. Houston already had the second-best defense in the league a year ago, and in Shane Battier has one of the league's premier wing defenders.

Adande: Getting An Edge

How will Ron Artest fit in with Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady? He should give the Rockets a needed edge, writes J.A. Adande. Story
Hollinger: Artest worth risk
My spies in Houston tell me the idea is to line up Artest at power forward, where he has the muscle to bang with 4s in the post, and then dare bigger opponents to match up with him at the other end. He was extremely effective doing this in Sacramento, and will have a lot more opportunity to do so in Houston since a big chunk of his minutes figure to come at the 4.



And while the Rockets see him as their No. 3 offensive weapon behind Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming, it's a strong third. Houston ranked only 17th in offensive efficiency last season, and McGrady sometimes broke down under the strain of having to create offense for everybody else -- most visibly in Game 2 of the Utah series this spring. Houston badly needed another perimeter player who can create his own shot, and Artest fills that hole.



Meanwhile, adding a fourth perimeter player should be of huge benefit to Yao Ming as well. Opponents will be much more reluctant to double him and will have to recover once they do, with McGrady, Artest, Battier and Rafer Alston all competent 3-point threats and Brent Barry and Luther Head poised to come in firing off the bench.



Plus, when McGrady checks out with an injury -- something that's a pretty good bet to happen at some point this season, based on recent history -- Houston has another creator to fill in without too great a drop in quality.



The big idea is that Artest, between his scoring and his underrated playmaking skills, will add enough offense to get Houston well into the upper half of the league in offensive efficiency. From there, the Rockets' suffocating D -- with Artest adding yet another stopper to the mix -- can accomplish the rest. If it comes to fruition, Houston could find itself hoisting the Larry O'Brien Trophy next June.



Obviously, this move comes with a certain level of risk it's Ron freaking Artest, people. But considering Houston's position, you have to like the gamble.



For starters, he likes the coach. Artest played for Rick Adelman in Sacramento and had a very successful run, helping the Kings rally to a playoff spot and scare the daylights out of San Antonio in the first round in 2006. Sure, he might still go crazy at some point, but this is infinitely better than Artest not liking the coach.



Second, the trade didn't cost them much. Houston gave up two first-round picks, but one was the 28th pick in this year's draft (Donte Greene), and the other is in 2009 and is also likely to be in the 20s. Otherwise, they gave up only reserve guard Bobby Jackson, whose minutes will be replaced by two players of comparable quality (Barry and Head), and a chunk of owner Les Alexander's money, which matters only if your name is Les Alexander.



Additionally, Houston has an out. With Artest having only one year left on his deal, it's a relatively low-risk proposition for the Rockets. If he plays hard and behaves, great -- they're title contenders. If not, they'll let him walk and be out only the two late first-rounders.



Finally, and perhaps most importantly, there's The Window issue. Look, Houston's time is now -- and when I say now, I mean right now. Among the starters, McGrady is a very old 29, Yao is 28, Battier is 30 and Alston is 32; behind them, presumptive sixth man Luis Scola is 28, Head is 25 and Barry is 36.



With McGrady and Yao becoming increasingly brittle, it's incumbent on the Rockets to do whatever they can to contend for a title while their two stars are still capable of reaching the mountaintop.



By themselves that wasn't possible, as the past two seasons showed. With a third star and a team-oriented, defensive-minded squad around them, however, things start looking awfully interesting not to mention awfully similar to the reigning champions in Boston.



It's a roll of the dice, sure, but it's a calculated risk with limited downside. Given the cards Houston had to play, it's a tremendous move.



As for the Kings, this is probably about as good as they could have hoped to do considering Artest's volatile nature and expiring contract. Greene was only the 28th pick in the draft, but he had a great summer league and appears to have a solid future as a perimeter-oriented 4 man. The 2009 pick also will help in the rebuilding process -- even if it's likely to be in the 20s -- and while Jackson doesn't offer much long-term help, he's a known quantity in Sactown and might be able to fetch something extra at the trade deadline if he plays well.



Moreover, the trade gets Sacramento under the luxury tax, an important consideration for a team that isn't going to be making the playoffs anyway.



And perhaps best of all, it finally establishes Sacramento as Kevin Martin's team. For the past two years, the Kings have appeared to have a hard time understanding that their most efficient scorer should be getting a bigger chunk of the shots; now that the options of forcing it to Artest or Mike Bibby are gone, Martin can get on with pumping in 25 a game and not worry about going entire quarters without seeing the ball.



But ultimately, this deal is about Houston going all-in to get a ring from its McGrady-Yao nucleus while it still can. And if Artest can use his walk year as motivation to stay well-behaved for a year, the Rockets just might pull it off.


John Hollinger writes for ESPN Insider. To e-mail him, click here.




This is great for Houston cuz this fills the backup C need. Luis Scola will now be the 6th Man off the bench. That means when he plays WITH Yao, he will be a PF, But he will also serve as our backup C when Yao needs to come out. He will split time between PF and C but still get his fair share of minutes. Our 2nd Group is now
C: Luis Scola
PF: Carl Landry
SF: Brent Barry
SG: Luther Head
PG: Aaron Brooks/Steve Francis
__________________

Bushsucks14
07-30-2008, 02:24 PM
Ja is a rockets Hater that doesn't know about the team. He doesn't now what he's talking about. Shane is comin off the bench

JordansBulls
07-30-2008, 02:27 PM
I wouldn't start him at the PF. I'd start Scola still for now.

mightybosstone
07-30-2008, 02:31 PM
Ja is a rockets Hater that doesn't know about the team. He doesn't now what he's talking about. Shane is comin off the bench

Actually, I think this was Hollinger. I read the article last night. Also, I think that Artest and Scola will share a lot of time at the 4 and you can't argue that having Battier and Artest on the floor at the same time wouldn't be an INCREDIBLE defense.

Jay22Redd
07-30-2008, 02:34 PM
Id start Scola

Rhyming Rebel
07-30-2008, 02:55 PM
I don't care who starts I just know we are much better than we were last week.

Chronz
07-30-2008, 03:06 PM
In all of the Artest threads I wrote I hoped the Rockets could get him without giving up Battier, hes the kind of player you need to win a chip and would thrive in a James Posey role where he doesnt have to score. And like Posey I expect him to come off the bench but I also know it would be deemed a waste of resources if Morey is paying 8+Million for a backup player.

I fully expect Artest to get a chunk of the PT at the 4, its the only way the BIG3 can play with Battier.

{}
07-30-2008, 03:06 PM
Artest is a starting PF the same way Battier was thought to be our starting PF in previous seasons. :rolleyes: Guy needs to stick to his calculator and charts. Artest is 6'6 and 255lbs. Scola is 6'10 and 255lbs. Why would the Rockets play Artest out of position when we are stacked at the PF position with Scola, Dorsey and possibly Landry? There are too many high scoring PF's in the west. No need to regress to the Chuck Hayes days on defense.

As for Battier, he is a team player and won't have a problem coming off the bench. He could still get about 30mpg as a 6th man backing up both the SG and SF positions.

JordansBulls
07-30-2008, 03:56 PM
In all of the Artest threads I wrote I hoped the Rockets could get him without giving up Battier, hes the kind of player you need to win a chip and would thrive in a James Posey role where he doesnt have to score. And like Posey I expect him to come off the bench but I also know it would be deemed a waste of resources if Morey is paying 8+Million for a backup player.

I fully expect Artest to get a chunk of the PT at the 4, its the only way the BIG3 can play with Battier.

This is where I disagree. I don't think anything is a waste of resources paying a backup player 8 million a year when the team is a 55+ win team easily and a top 3-4 team in the league.

Rockets Fanatic
07-30-2008, 04:07 PM
close thread plz

wvphil
07-30-2008, 04:31 PM
You will find Ron-Ron doesn't like to play the 4, he much prefers beating up on smaller 3's. What Ron-Ron doesn't like he doesn't do well for an extended length of time.

OUfan4life15
07-30-2008, 04:53 PM
Artest may not even start at all, they could easily make him a Ginobli type player off the bench, which...he may as well start then, but who cares? I love it either way it goes though, hopefully it works out.

Just look at the second team:

Brooks
Barry
Battier
Landry
Mutumbo

That's a hell of a bench right there, not many teams can say they have a solid 10 man rotation, and that's not even counting Dorsey or anyone else that can make the rotation as well.

Chronz
07-30-2008, 08:36 PM
This is where I disagree. I don't think anything is a waste of resources paying a backup player 8 million a year when the team is a 55+ win team easily and a top 3-4 team in the league.
Your essentially disagreeing with the Money ball approach, reason isnt because Battier isnt worth his salary. Its because his impact cant be maximized the way it could unless he plays alongside the big 3 for long stretches. That can only happen if Artest plays the 4.. if this doesnt play out then it minimizes Battiers impact, compared to what his equal level replacement would be able to provide in far heavier minutes.

Its the scenario the Raptors played out last year, with TJ Ford and Calderon they had the best PG rotation in the league but one of the weakest defensive frontlines in all of basketball. Since TJ and Calderon couldnt be maximized by playing together they jettisoned one for the other to strengthen the balance of their team, by trading for Jermaine. They will still have one of the top PG rotations in the league because Calderon is that good, but now have strengthened their interior defensively. The overall net gains outweigh the depth. Your pretty good at knowing what PER can reveal so just imagine a positional advantage being gained by +4PER simply by pairing the team with a Battier type impact but being able to play heavy minutes alongside the Big 3.


Like FACE was saying, playing Artest at the 4 eliminates much of his defensive advantage, the Kings were horrible at defending 4's and when Artest was at the position the teams opposing PF had an All-Star type impact. Though that says alot about Brad Miller as it does Artest, playing alongside Yao and the Houston help defense he could do alot better, so it really is up in the air.

Still all this is a moot point unless there is a player like that available. I doubt it so we'll end up keeping both of them.

Randy West
07-30-2008, 09:10 PM
Rick will start Ron and who wouldn't?

He can score 20+ and give his assignment on d a real tough night

You don't bring one of the top defenders in the league off the bench........you match him minute for minute if possible with the largest scoring threat on the other team

At least that's what Rick did the 40 or so games they were together in Sacramento

That team actually made the playoffs in large part to Ron. Houston is already a playoff team and now one of the four competing for the Western Conference Finals next season imo

Barring crazy injury or Ron freaking out................that should be a standard disclaimer behind every Rockets thread from this point forward

BoSelecta!!!
07-31-2008, 02:27 AM
with us in da West, i find its hard to believe ron ron is going to start at 4...

{}
07-31-2008, 03:03 AM
with us in da West, i find its hard to believe ron ron is going to start at 4...

...including Artest, he said he'd okay with letting Battier start and coming off the bench. Artest knows he is a SF and likely has no desire to guard the likes of Duncan. I could see occassional spot duty at PF when we play against light weight, perimeter oriented PF's like Dirk or Diaw. But I see Artest playing the majority of his minutes at SF and concentrating his defensive abilities guarding the 1-3 positions.

goku
07-31-2008, 03:40 AM
true true but i hope he starts

TMAC94
07-31-2008, 04:08 AM
Id start scola at PF and bring battier as our 6th man or even know trade him for a bench scorer?