The matchup the basketball world has been waiting for, Kobe vs. Artest.
In anticipation of tonight's sure-to-be epic battle, I looked up Kobe's scoring stats in his previous parties with Ron-Ron. Note that I can't be positive that Artest guarded Kobe in all of these games, but given that Artest has always been the top perimeter defender on his team and Kobe has always been the top perimeter player on his, I feel confident that they matched up.
02.15.00 21 8/14
11.19.00 22 8/22
01.12.02 26 9/25
02.06.02 38 14/26
03.01.02 25 8/17
03.05.03 20 9/26
11.30.03 12 4/10
AVERAGE 23.4 42.9%
CAREER 26.3 45.2%
(Note: Kobe's career average is calculated since 2000. He wasn't as prolific earlier in his career, and his first meeting with Ron wasn't til 2000 anyways.)
So Kobe has gotten off a few times against Tru. That 38-point performance came in a Lakers loss, if you're keeping score. Ronnie has held Kobe Bean below his typical scoring ability throughout, though.
It'll be epic, y'all. I, for one, can't wait.
(Note: I'm not going to go hogwild today, at least not like I did last month in the first Lakers-Kings match of the season. I will be posting a few more times, but that 18 posts in two days thing nearly killed me last time. Moderation is key.)