Will Ron Artest’s Offense Improve After a Year in the L.A. Lakers’ Triangle?

Most Los Angeles Lakers fans would agree that forward Ron Artest exceeded most expectations in helping the Lakers capture their second consecutive NBA championship, and the first of his career.

There were some concerns voiced about Artest signing with the Lakers, and it's easy to understand the apprehension considering Artest's quirky nature and unpredictable manner.

Not to mention the reputation Artest garnered from the now-infamous brawl in Detroit, which helped foster his bad boy image.

Those concerns turned out to be a moot issue, because even though Artest was still a sound bite waiting to happen, he also was the consummate pro on the court.

Artest brought energy, intensity, and a rough edge to the Lakers' defensive unit, and he turned out to be the perfect remedy for a defense searching for an identity.

Artest may have been the Lakers' most consistent player on the defensive end of the floor, but the intricacies of the triangle offense were a little harder for Artest to decipher.

Sometimes Artest looked lost on the offensive end, and that led to problems with spacing on the court and a tendency to settle for ill-advised shots from the perimeter.

Artest did improve as the season progressed, but his 11.0 points per game average was lower than the 15.5 points he has averaged throughout his career.

Of course most of that can be explained by the presence of Artest's elite teammates Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, and Artest's shooting percentages last season actually mirrored his career numbers.

Artest shot 41 percent from the field and 35 percent from the three-point line last season, and that is nearly identical to his career numbers of 42 percent and 34 percent respectively.

Artest did have his moments on the offensive end, and none were bigger than his performances in the Western Conference Finals against Phoenix, and in the NBA Finals against Bos...

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