ESPN: In a Lakers-Rockets game with no shortage of big names, you had to dig deep through the box score to find the real star, the guy Phil Jackson calls a “stealth player.”

Six of his teammates scored more points. Pau Gasol grabbed nearly twice as many rebounds. But Trevor Ariza was the guy secretly responsible for an astounding 45-point swing, from a 16-point Rockets lead early in the second quarter to a 111-82 Lakers victory.

For all the stat geeks, Ariza had a plus/minus of +34 Sunday night. Put that in your web browser and click it. Good things happen when Ariza is on the court, even if he doesn’t always get his name called over the loudspeakers when the play is finished.

“He’s like a ghost out there,” Jackson said. “Like a shadow. Just all of a sudden he shows on a screen, he’s gone. He’s a blip and he’s away.”

Ariza even tried to slip out of the postgame locker room, waiting until a crowd gathered around Andrew Bynum before moving around the reporters and flashing a “peace out” sign to the big center, until Lakers public relations director John Black reeled him in.

“Come here, Trevor,” Black said. “You can’t play that well and leave.”

No, you can’t have eight points, eight rebounds, three steals and three assists in 25 important minutes without coming in to explain yourself, even if it’s just elaborating on Jackson’s stealth description.

Continue reading ‘Without being noticed, Ariza does the little things for Lakers’

  • lakers2000

    This guy makes me think that we need to invest more in him than Odom. What a hustler! I wish the entire team would look to him as an example of disciplined defense. Even Kobe. I get frustrated watching Kobe yell at the refs while his defensive assignment takes off. Let’s see what this guy is going to do as the team moves on in the season. Go Lakers!!!!

  • lakers2000

    Oh yea! Artest who?

  • DCLAKER

    I’ve tellin’my Laker fans in DC that Trevor and Farmar make LO that much better.

    Knowone can stop our 2nd unit…can possibly be the best bench ever…not yet,soon.

  • stdecker

    every laker fan NOTICES trevor. The day we made the trade for him i knew it was great pickup. He is a perfect fit on this squad. Now if we could just get rid of sascha and luke we would be set.

  • NBA INTERNATIONAL

    TREVOR ALSO DOES BIG THINGS, PERIMETER D, ENERGY, AND MAKING POSTERS

  • MILO

    [Comment ID #54110 Will Be Quoted Here]

    thats right DC! and if we gave Walton a 5 year deal i dont know why not Ariza…

  • yellowpurplefever

    “STEALTH” says PJ. Is that his nickman from now on? like it!!
    He is like Shane Battier but with crazy highlight dunks.