As if the Los Angeles Lakers did not have enough problems trailing the Dallas Mavericks 2-0 in their Western Conference Semi-Final series with the action heading to Dallas; they found out on Thursday they will be shy one starter Friday night due to a ruling by the Association. “ESPN.com” reported Thursday that Lakers veteran forward Ron Artest will be suspended for game three of their series against the Mavericks after they ruled that he committed a Flagrant Foul 2 Wednesday night against Jose Juan Barea in game two of the second round match-up. Artest with less than 25 seconds to play in the contest grabbed Barea by the face as if he were squeezing a melon. “Tru-Warrior” was immediately tossed from the game following his actions.
The Mavericks guard told members of the media that he thought Artest’s punishment was fitting. He said “I think one game is fine. The league didn’t like that it was to the face and it was after the play was called. That’s never going to be good with the league. They’re making a point and he was suspended for one game.”
The Lakers forward told reporters he had no reaction to being suspended. Most likely Matt Barnes will get the start at small forward slot Friday night in lieu of Artest.