Ariza comes into the limelight
The Western Conference semifinal was contested by Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets on Sunday, 17th May 2009. The Lakers defeated the Rockets by a score of 89-70. Several players from the Lakers played impressively in this encounter. Kobe Bryant was a dictator of pace and tempo and he chose and picked when to break hearts. Derek Fisher, who throughout the series appeared to be in a horrible slump, eventually woke up in the game. Pau Gasol also exhibited a good form. >
The star of Lakers
However, the player who has stolen a million hearts and has become the real star is Trevor Ariza. He is a fifth year player out of UCLA who has become an obscure forward. Prior to Sunday’s game, Ariza had an average of 3.1 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 10.5 points in the postseason. He improved his play in Sunday’s game and scored 15 points on 5 of 9 shooting inclusive of 2 of 3 from 23 feet 9 inches. It was due to this performance that his team started with a fast speed and finally in the first quarter led by 22-12. Ariza commented that the fans should not rely on the mode of play his team exhibits in the second half. He added the team has just arrived from the gate and if they play their first half in the way they usually play their second half, then the team would be in excellent form.
Hard work by Ariza
Arguably, Ariza has become the maximum high energy player of the Lakers and the top perimeter player of the team. He weighs 210 pounds and is 6 feet 8 inches tall. With these attributes, he can guard in three positions as well as he has enhanced his long distance capacity. If his entire career is considered, he is a 29.9 percent shooter from the deep. Whenever he has attempted to assist Gasol, Bryant or Lamar Odom, his opponents have left him open. He has worked arduously so that his opponents repent for leaving him open. Ariza remarked about his play that he takes the open shots when they are there and he knows that he can knock them down.
The importance of Ariza
The Los Angeles Lakers is a team that is in need of a quick beginning so that they can employ the type of tempo they desire. Gasol is usually busy on safeguarding the rim first and foremost and concentrating on rebounding. Bryant is busy in determining how he is being attacked by the defenders and where and when he can get his consistent shots. In such circumstances, Ariza is the likely person who has the burden of igniting the Lakers during the first quarter of games. Frequently, it has been observed that a good beginning by Ariza effectively means a great start for his team. Ariza’s effort and energy is contagious. Ariza is of the opinion that his team needs to show itself every night. The key to victory is that the team should get the ball inside and the big guys must be off early. Then, the Lakers have a handsome probability of triumph.
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