Do Artest’s numbers begin to compensate for the loss of Ariza?

Ariza did fit in pretty well in L.A. but Artest needs more time and probably will be more effective. Your thoughts?

L.A. Times: Artest and Ariza are different players. Artest is bigger and stronger, but Ariza is quicker and sleeker. Yes, the Lakers do miss some of what Ariza did, like his hustle, his diving on the floor for loose balls, his unselfish play.

But if you look at both of their numbers — and stats don’t tell the entire story — it is interesting.

Artest averages 11.1 points, Ariza 15.5, a career-high.

Artest averages 33.1 minutes, shoots 41.4% from the field, 38.6% from three-point range, collects 4.7 rebounds, hands out 3.3 assists and gets 1.02 steals.

Ariza, in his first season with the Rockets, averages 38.1 minutes, shoots 37.8% from the field, 29.9% from three-point range, gets 5.6 rebounds, hands out 3.6 assists and gets 1.7 steals.

  • drive-for-16th

    artest had better number when he was in houstan, he doesnt have to do too much here, trevor has to do a lot in houstan so lets not even look at the numbers.

  • Dan Andreas

    Ron Artest hasn’t really shown his defensive worth as of yet, but offensively he’s been great. A lot of people are quick to point out that he hasn’t found his groove and his points aren’t where we expect them to be. Ariza was also much better on the fast break (the guy could actually get a couple inches off the floor). But very few people notice that when he’s on the floor, the Lakers can post up 4 of the 5 players on the court. And when Ron gets in the box with the typical frail SF’s of the NBA, it’s usually a foul or And 1. Yes, he’s shooting better than Ariza from three, but I love how he just muscles his way into position for a high percentage shot. And this is a luxury that Ariza could NEVER give us.

    Don’t get me wrong, Trevor was a favorite of mine. Nothing against him whatsoever, I’m just sick of people bad mouthing Ron. Not everyone can fit into the triangle as fast as Pau Gasol did…

  • http://www.myspace.com/626bones Lakers 24 7

    Artest will show his worth during the playoffs.

  • keepon_keepinon18

    There is no way that those would be Ariza’s numbers in LAL this season though. Had he been here, he would have had to defer much more to his teammates. Considering he was a talent and rising in the offensive and defensive areas, the Lakers probably wouldn’t have had their slow offensive start. The defense, however, is what the Lakers got Artest for and he seems to be getting healthier. The playoffs are where its going to matter and a different tempo isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

  • LD24

    I think another thing to note is Ariza’s 3pt%. He shot the ball last year well in the playoffs, but on the whole, he’s not a great shooter. Remember that he also had Craig Hodges help him a lot with his shooting when he was here in LA. Now he doesn’t have him there in Houston to help him through the slumps.

    A lot of you made a good point that Ariza’s number would not be that good if he was here in LA. Indeed, he seems to be jacking up more shots over there in Houston.

    As far as I’m concerned, the only meaningful statistical advantage Ariza is having on Artest this year is the 4 PPG. And of this team, it doesn’t seem like points are a concern. Rather, we need someone that can consistently hit open shots. I know that Ariza was able to do this when he was in LA (towards the end, at least), and I would guess that his lower shooting % in Houston is a result of him having to create shots, but our defense has gotten better. And I love Ariza and all, but he wasn’t the guy that could take on the other team’s best scorer the way Artest can. And considering that we have a banged up Kobe who’s not getting any younger, the maintenance of Kobe is really important.

  • I_L0VE_LA_GERMANY

    this is ain´t a fair comparison – i love(d) travor for his (smart and unselfish) attitude, for his quickness, for his lose-ball-battle-effort, for his heart, for his tremendous passion and so much more

    but from the basketball-business-side artest is the right choice. i loved him before the trade and nothing changed. the numbers don´t even tell the whole story, they tell it wrong. travor got an average of 15touches/game (20 if he wants to) artest maybe 10 or 12 – ariza has to carry so much more load by himself, so the fg% is declining – and artest is in best case the 3rd option, more often the 4th. we can´t be mad with him, just because he doesn´t learn the triangle as fast as pau did. the 5/4 is probably even easier to learn (correct me if i`m wrong) than the 3.

    as long as artest doesn´t wants to restart his professional rap- or boxing-career in the middle of the season or starts drinking hennesy on the bench, it was the right decision.

  • Robert

    All everyone said above is true. Another point – Artest has been struggling with injuries (the plantar fasciitis keeps you from jumping, using your legs properly, running, moving quick for defense, etc.). Apparently, if you noticed in the game against the 76ers (his best game), he commented that he’s feeling a ‘lot’ better, and his legs are feeling better than they have in 10 years.
    .
    An injury can keep you from playing your ‘A’ game. And when you get over that injury, your level of play skyrockets. Artest can apparently move better now. So when his ‘brain’ thinks that he wants to make a move, or move a certain way (in defense, jump shots, etc.), his legs can respond well.
    .
    So, look for Ron-Ron, if he is truly getting over his injuries, to up his level of play.
    .
    When we see the true Ron-Ron play, THEN we’ll be able to make a true comparison with Trevor. Trust me, we’ll be very happy with the move.
    .
    Although, after having said all that, I can say that it would have been ‘nice’ to have been able to keep Trevor in addition to Ron-Ron. That would have been killer.

  • Nabaniel

    I think a big factor that Ron brings is toughness. The Lakers were always criticized for not being tough enough before Ron got here, and I think he has helped that a lot. Plus, defense is really what wins championships, and our defense is much better with Ron. Do you think the finals last year would have been so easy if we faced the current Cleveland team? Just because we won last year doesn’t automatically mean we will this year, so the enhanced defense that Ron brings will be a huge help down the line. All that matters is what happens in June, so I guess we’ll see.