Artest is TIRED

There has been some talk about how Roy needs to get rest during the game from guarding Ron Artest so he can have enough energy to perform on offense. This is usually brought up in regards to him defending Ron Artest who is extremely strong and physical on offense and defense. However, I think a large point that is being missed is that Artest is usually (with some brief spells of Battier) the one guarding Roy and I think it is severely affecting his offensive game.

Roy stepped his physical game last year and this year. He invites the contact and has gotten strong enough to get the finish plus the hope of the +1. Even on his jab step jumpers, he'll occassionally body his defender to create a little more space before he back steps and jumpshoots. Combine that with the number of picks that Roy runs his defender through, picks that usually include someone like, Oden, Pryzbilla or Aldridge, and you have an extremely physically punishing assignment outside of just having to chase around a guy who's averaged 21 shots per game this series and is usually the offensive focus of the team (outside of when the team feeds Aldridge).

Artest was the second leading scorer for this team this season. Some stats:

Regular Season

35.5min 17.1ppg .401avg

This Series

36.4min 13.4ppg .377avg

Obviously we're dealing with a far smaller sample size here. Let's include some regular season matchups in which he's guarding other allstar type players, including Roy.

Players - Kobe, Lebron, Wade, Roy (9 regular season games total)

38.2min 14.9ppg .350avg

So now we have 14 total games to look at. Still not a great sample size, but a significant enough one to make my point. Of course, part of the reason may be that he being guarded by some exceptional defenders when this happens, though I can't say for sure without having seen all these games. 

Artest is obviously ridiculously strong, but guarding the preeminent offensive players in the league (and the world) has got to be taxing. To have done it for 5 straight games now, against someone who accepts the contact, who even initiates that contact has got to be tiring. Maybe a lot of it is Ron being Ron and his shot selection, but I think it has a lot to do with guarding Roy. And so Roy is not only being a beast on the offensive end, as a direct result he's helping to nullify the second biggest offensive threat.

Basically, Roy is awesomeness all over. But we knew that already.

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