Barnes is averaging 7.4 points and 4.8 rebounds while providing a defensive spark in his first season with the Lakers. He had his biggest game for Los Angeles in Minnesota on Nov. 19 when he scored 24 points on 7-for-7 shooting, including five 3-pointers without a miss.
Bryant is averaging just over 33 minutes this season, down starkly from last season’s 38.8 minutes. The extra time off has helped his nagging injuries, including his perpetually sore knees, and Bryant said he’d have no problem picking up more playing time.
Jackson also expects Artest to raise his game in Barnes‘ absence. Artest is averaging career-lows of 7.7 points and 2.9 rebounds while playing just 27.1 minutes per game this season, making just 39.9 percent of his shots and dropping entirely out of the Lakers‘ offensive game plan on many nights.
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