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The small-forward matchup between Ron Artest and Trevor Ariza is the most intriguing individual battle of the series.
Trevor Ariza played a significant role in the Lakers’ 2009 championship. After helping the Lakers win the title, Ariza signed with Houston.
The Lakers filled Ariza's spot by signing Ron Artest.
While I won’t say there is bad blood between the two players, there is certainly no love, either. Especially since some fans think Ariza was a better fit for the Lakers than Artest.
The two players are more or less a wash offensively, with Ariza having the small advantage.
Still, Artest’s defensive prowess gives him the overall advantage in the series. Artest's defense can be a huge difference maker in a playoff series.