Ron has had a roller coaster season with the Lakers. Hopefully things improve come playoffs.

L.A. Times: Assuming the Lakers don’t make any trades, their main difference from last season will remain forward Ron Artest, whose season can only be characterized as up and down.

He was averaging 11.6 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists before Tuesday’s game against Golden State. He obviously isn’t the Lakers’ first or second option, but he hasn’t averaged so few points since the 2001-02 season, hasn’t averaged so few rebounds since 2000-01 and hasn’t averaged so few assists since 2005-06.

“Ron is kind of like an X-factor out there,” Jackson said. “Some nights he’s killing it. He’s been very effective. Other nights, he’s hurt the team.”

Before Tuesday, Artest was shooting only 42.4% from the field and 68.2% from the free-throw line.

The Lakers, however, didn’t sign him to a five-year deal to watch him score.

“One thing we’ve been happy with is his defense,” Jackson said. “His defense has been an effective opportunity for us to limit our help [defense] and limit how much we have to go over and shade the area he’s guarding.”

Continue reading ‘Ron Artest: Fitting in still in progress’