The Lakers have a daunting task ahead of them as they will battle the Mavericks in Dallas for two games this weekend, already down 0-2 in their best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal series. Ron Artest has been suspended for Game 3, Friday night in Dallas at 6:30 p.m. PDT on ESPN, for his hands to the face of Jose Barera in the final minute of Game 2. In his place, it appears the Lakers might start Shannon Brown, but at shooting guard, with Kobe Bryant moving to small forward.
Artest was one of six Lakers to play all 82 games this season, as the Lakers had a remarkably consistent lineup all season. Derek Fisher, Bryant, Artest, and Gasol started all 82 games, with Lamar Odom, another 82-gamer, switching between starting and coming off the bench depending on Andrew Bynum's health. Brown also played all 82 games, all of the bench. Another option for the Lakers to start in place of Artest could be forward Matt Barnes, who has four points and seven rebounds in 26 minutes during this series. Here are the probable starters per the team game notes for tonight's Game 3:
- Point Guard: Derek Fisher
- Shooting Guard: Shannon Brown
- Small Forward: Kobe Bryant
- Power Forward: Pau Gasol
- Center: Andrew Bynum
Point Guard: Jason Kidd
Shooting Guard: DeShawn Stevenson
Small Forward: Shawn Marion
Power Forward: Dirk Nowitzki
Center: Tyson Chandler
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