Matt Barnes is a square peg trying to fit into a triangle-shaped hole. The veteran swingman is admittedly struggling to learn the principles of the triangle offense. While Barnes may be frustrated with his limited grasp on the organic offense, he shouldn’t fret too much. After all, Ron Artest went through the entire season without truly understanding Tex Winter’s gift to the game.
Much like Artest, Barnes should just concentrate on what he does best. Namely, playing hard-nosed defense and spotting up in the corner for three bombs.
Having played for a different team nearly every year of his NBA career, Barnes has rarely had the chance to learn any offense. When compared to the systems the former Bruin played in under Mike D’Antoni and Don Nelson, learning the triangle under Phil Jackson must feel like taking a course in quantum mechanics with Stephen Hawking.
Of course Barnes does have a court date looming that could also be causing some unwanted angst. That and the added pressure of playing for a two-time defending champion is enough to make even the most season vet feel like a rookie all over again.
Hang in there, Matt. While it was usually cringe inducing to watch Artest run the offense it was certainly a thing of beauty when he found ways to contribute in clutch moments. We’re counting on you to do the same, Barnes.