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Thursday, May 5, 2011
Lakers need Matt Barnes to do more than bark

By Tim MacMahon

Matt Barnes, the man who boasted about having the punk-‘em blueprint for beating the Mavericks, better back up his words.

If not, the Lakers will likely be looking at a 3-0 deficit.

Barnes will probably replace suspended small forward Ron Artest in the Lakers’ starting lineup for Game 3. At the least, Artest’s absence ensures that Barnes’ minutes will increase significantly.

Barnes, who played a significant role during the 2007 Warriors’ upset of the 67-win Mavs, has been a nonfactor so far this series. “The Charminator,” as Jason Terry calls Barnes, has four points on 2-of-8 shooting in 26 minutes and hasn’t made an impact defensively. He’s been part of a Lakers bench that has been completely outplayed by the Mavs counterparts.

Now, the Lakers need Barnes to play like he did in the first round four years ago.  It's put up or shut up time for the self-proclaimed punker.