Artest Doing It From Distance

59491155Among the reasons Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak was eager to get Ron Artest into L.A.’s doors in the offseason was the forward’s solid three-point shooting.

And after a slow start, Artest has gotten hot from distance, improving to 40.1 percent from three-point range to lead the Lakers:

Lakers Three-Point Percentage (minimum 50 attempts):
1) Ron Artest – 40.1
2) Sasha Vujacic – 35.8
3) Derek Fisher – 35.0
4) Jordan Farmar – 34.7
5) Shannon Brown – 33.3
6) Kobe Bryant – 32.7
7) Lamar Odom – 29.5

Artest has been particularly hot in February, nailing 8-of-13 attempts, including three straight big ones to turn the tide of L.A.’s road win in Portland on Saturday:

Artest Month-by-Month From Three
October/November: 39.1 percent
December: 32.7 percent
January: 43.1 percent
February: 61.5 percent

Among a few explanations for Artest’s increased accuracy is his improved understanding of L.A.’s offense – thus, where to get his shots – and his improved health, which he detailed after the Lakers win in Philadelphia on Jan. 29.

Artest, a career 34.7 percent shooter from three that shot 39.9 percent last season, currently ranks 23rd in the NBA in three-point percentage; the No. 10 spot (42.9 percent) is well within range particularly if his shooting trend continues.