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Artest practices...sort of

January 2, 2010 |  2:00 pm


Lakers forward Ron Artest -- remember him? -- practiced without contact Saturday and then shot around while a neurologist watched.

His status is still unclear for Sunday's game against Dallas. He will be re-evaluated Sunday morning after the team shoot-around.

I'm guessing, though, that the Lakers want him back soon, lickety-split, ASAP, and any other silly "HURRY UP" terminology I'm forgetting.

Basically, the Lakers' defense has taken a dive.

In the four games Artest has missed because of a concussion, the Lakers have surrendered 103 points to Sacramento, 118 to Phoenix, another 118 to Golden State and 108 to a severely depleted Sacramento team. (Granted, the first Sacramento game went to double overtime, but the more recent one was against a Kings team without Kevin Marin and Tyreke Evans. Please.)

Now the Mavericks come to town, the same team that throttled the Lakers in the second game of the season, 94-80.

Think that neurologist will be a Lakers' fan favorite if he clears Artest tomorrow? Uh, yeah.

-- Mike Bresnahan

Photo: Lakers forward Ron Artest makes running the offense difficult for Dallas point guard Jason Kidd in their first matchup of the season. Credit: Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press