Phil Jackson is well known for his attachment to the Triangle Offense and Ron Artest is becoming famous for being lost in it. For Ron, it might as well be the Bermuda Triangle Offense. Picking up right where he left off in the playoffs, Ron looks as clueless on the court as Erik Spoelstra does on the sideline.
This past Sunday, Ron’s reluctance resurfaced as he gave up an open look in the corner and instead passed up the opportunity to try and tie the game. While that doesn’t illustrate his offensive confusion his declining numbers sure do. Offensively, Ron Ron is at an all-time low. From minutes played to points scored, Artest’s offensive stock is rivaling Bank of America for basement value.
Of course, for what’s expected of Artest, offense is an after thought. His defense has been as good as ever and his trademark intensity is still present as PJ can attest to after Sunday’s loss.
While not a major concern now this is an issue that will certainly become vital later in the season. Despite his dismal struggles, Artest hit his share of clutch buckets last postseason that have landed him in Laker lore. While the results were more than appreciated the heartache wasn’t.
For Ron, his best bet to contribute on offense is with timely shooting and on occasion mixing it up in the post. With so many others capable of putting it in the hoop, Ron Ron simply isn’t needed to help aid in the cause. But on off nights like the one on Sunday it becomes imparitive that Ron finds his rhythm and picks up the slack for the weary legs of Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom.
Nobody is expecting Artest to drop 20 a game but it would be nice to know he can be trusted when his number is called. Even if that number is called as rarely as Sasha Vujacic’s name is by Lawrence Tanter.
None the less, this team is more than happy to have a selfless player willing to forgo glory for the sake of winning. So long as Ron is clutch when it counts all will be forgiven even if that means sitting through many cringe inducing evenings of hoops.