Forget all the excuses. It didn’t matter that Kobe had flu-like symptoms, that Phil only played Andrew Bynum for 15 minutes, or that L.A. shot way too many three’s. There was another reason that Houston took Game 1: by my count, the the last two times that Ron Artest let his barber go berserk before playing against the Lakers, he’s been an efficient machine, propelling his squad to victory.
Check out Exhibit A. Against the Lakers on March 2, 2007, Ron-Ron broke from his 2005 design, “Tru Warier” (see below) and decided to spell a word correctly in the back of his head – “King.” (Actually, it might have been “Kings,” but you get the point.) That night, he shot 50% from the floor for 19 points and 6 dimes en route to a 116-108 win over the Lakers at the Staples Center.
Last night, with a Rockets’ “R” emblazoned over his ear on one side of his head and a funky design on the other side, Artest was Houston’s best player. Ron converted 53% of his tries from the field, notching 21 points and 7 assists.
It’s tough to pinpoint exactly when the “Tru Warier” motif debuted, but odds are it wasn’t against the Lakers. He did that at some point during November of the ’05-06 season, and the Pacers didn’t play L.A. during that month. Maybe he should try to let his hair grow so that he can cut that back in if this series goes 7.