I don't think Artest has lost the Lakers any games. Sure he hasn't contributed as much as he could offensively, but like I said, he has done a fairly decent job on Pierce. Face it though, guys like Pierce and Kobe are eventually going to get 'theirs'. You had Tony Allen more or less severely limiting Kobe in one of these games only to get schooled last night. Pure scorers are going to eventually beat the defense. The Lakers lost game 5 for two major reasons: they stopped playing defense as a team, and the rest of the team didn't contribute offensively, instead they more or less stood around and watched Kobe go 'lights out' on Boston. So he scores 38, big deal, the rest of the team has to get involved as well. Pierce scored 27 points last night but it was within the flow of the game, he didn't have to make stuff happen like Kobe did. There were other scorers for Boston besides Pierce. You didn't see Pierce making bad shots because he didn't feel the need to, he could pass up a contested shot in favor of an open teammate. Kobe had to (or at least he felt he needed to) make things happen for his team.
Another thing going against LA is the fact that their bench is nowhere near as good as Bostons. You can see how Kobe and the other starters are getting a little gassed out there in these games. LA needs for their bench to contribute some points. Vuajic, Farmar, and Odom must do more to contribute.
I think Boston HAS TO WIN game 6. No way does LA lose game 7 at home. One thing is for sure, this is a fun series to watch. Still waiting for both teams to play a near perfect game at the same time though.
I agree with everything you said, but I will disagree slightly with Artest. Obviously the Lakers lost last night because they did not play defense in the 3rd quarter. LA went into the 3rd down by 6, had 7 offensive possessions to start the quarter and Kobe scored 18 points, yet somehow they did not cut down the deficit, and instead were then down by 9 I believe.
However, Artest had 3 plays last night that really grinds my gears. 1) Not hustling down the court and settling for the two foul shots after a great player by Kobe and Fisher. 2) Missing 2 free throws that would have given Kobe a chance to tie the game (potentially). That one is self explanatory. 3) He covers Rondo on the inbounds after a BS dive by Pierce, and then decides to leisurely jog down the floor with him letting Rajon sneak in behind him and get the bucket that sealed the deal.
I was more upset last night at Artest than at any point I can remember recently. I'll never forgive Artest for the way he has played the last 2 games if we do not pull this out.