It took some time to get acclimated to his new team in Indiana, but Artest started 24 games in his first season and averaged 10.9 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 2.4 steals in 28 games.
The 2001-02 season was also Artest's first time in the playoffs, and he averaged 11.8 points, 6.0 boards, 3.2 assists and 2.6 steals in five playoff games with the Pacers. Something clicked the next year, which led to a huge increase in his offensive production. In 165 games in between 2002-2005, he'd average 19.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2.2 steals per game. The 2003-04 season brought out the best of him, as he received the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award and was also named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team.
Artest earned a roster spot in the 2004 NBA All-Star Game and almost led Indiana to the NBA Finals before losing to the Detroit Pistons, 4-2, in the Eastern Conference Finals. As his game reached new levels in Indy, he was traded to the Sacramento Kings during the 2005-06 season.
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