You watch the games, you see the scores, but how do you really know what's going on in NBA Playoffs 2006? NBA.com has infiltrated the action with the ultimate insiders -- the players themselves. We're giving you an exclusive look at the postseason with a roster of player mailboxes.
Sacramento's Ron Artest averaged 16.9 points and 5.2 rebounds for the Kings this season.
Q: Do you feel that the Kings are still getting disrespected because of the way they played before you came? Despite the fact that you guys have the 5th best record since Feb. 4th and beat the Spurs in San Antonio, still no one seems to give you a chance. Does that make you guys want to play harder or is it just frustrating? -- Ryan
Artest: We’re not frustrated—we understand that we’re playing the champs and they have home court. At the same time we feel we still have a great chance to win.
Q: Ron, how's your thumb feeling at this point? Are you going to have it wrapped up for the series? -- Paul
Artest: It’s feeling pretty good. Obviously, not playing the other day helped it. But I’m going to go out there and ball regardless.
Q: How do you manage to find yourself in the right position to get the steal, rebounds and blocks?
Artest: I just play hard, try to play good defense. A lot of times I just find myself in the right place because I don’t give up. I try to play as hard as I can every play.
Q: How do you feel about Kevin Martin? Do you think he will be a star one day? Thanks for turning the season around. -- Jason
Artest: Kevin’s been real good this year for us. I didn’t know much about him before I came here, but he can play. I think he can be a star one day if he keeps working hard on his game.
Q: Defensive player of the year,
Who do you find the hardest in the league to guard? I know whenever you put your mind to it you can lock up anyone on D, but who has made you work the hardest this year? And your whole career?
Artest: Kobe’s pretty tough…there are a lot of guys in the league though that are tough. But the hardest guy I ever had to guard is a playground legend back in Queensbridge, Mike Chatfield. He was the toughest.
Q: What do you think will be the biggest factor for the Kings to win the series over the Spurs? -- Jose
Artest: We just need to take a game-by-game approach. We can’t win four of five in one game. Me and Bonzi have to get to get after it on the perimeter and stop their penetration. Our big guys are doing a good job against Duncan.
Q: How did you adjust to your new team, Sacramento, and how did you first feel getting to play with them and playing against your former team, Indiana? --Alex
Artest: I just came in and tried to do what I do. Play defense, rebound, hit some shots, involve my teammates. It was fun going back to Indiana. There were a lot of people out there that were glad to see me. I'm not surprised some booed, that's what they're supposed to do.