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Metta World Peace

How can the Lakers become Metta’s NBA Finalists?

Metta World Peace isn’t a stranger at all to brash preseason purple and gold predictions. Just a year ago, the former Ron Artest proclaimed that the team’s goal for the 2012-2013 season should be to go 73-9, topping the 1996 Chicago Bulls’ historic record. Days before his first Lakers training camp in 2009, he boldly announced that if the reigning champs did not repeat as titlists, he’d shoulder the blame.
 
Even when not on the roster, Metta hasn’t shied away from…audacious sound bytes. This one, more than those previous two, seemed more inexplicable than Chris Brown’s continuing popularity. During a book signing yesterday in Manhattan, the newly-inked New York Knickerbocker told this to ESPNNewYork.com:

“I think the Lakers are going to go to the NBA Finals,” World Peace said during a signing for his children’s book “Metta’s Bedtime Stories” in downtown Manhattan on Wednesday.
 
“I think Kobe [Bryant’s] gonna be healthy, they’re gonna get Pau [Gasol]. The Lakers are gonna make a big trade like they always do. They’re gonna get another good player, boom, boom, and they’re gonna go to the Finals. I believe it. Kobe’s gonna come back, he’s gonna play team ball, and Pau’s gonna play well.”

From that prediction and all the way back to his post-2008 Finals declaration to a depressed, showering, buck naked Kobe, it seems that Ronnie has always been, and forever will be, Lakers Optimist Numero Uno. If only we could all operate in the labyrinth that is Metta’s mind, then perhaps we could all believe so hard in this Lakers team.
 
And maybe we should.
 
Maybe we here at Silver Screen & Roll have been entirely too negative this summer. Maybe we’re just plain wrong. Maybe this team will be alright. Maybe Kobe will come back and be elite. Maybe Pau will surprise us with a resurgent season, with Steve Nash following suit. Maybe defense doesn’t matter as much as mathematics, common sense and thirty years of modern basketball dictates. That’s right kids–Metta got me thinking. He got me thinking long and deep.
 
What would the Lakers have to do to become title contenders again? What are the circumstances in which this underrated team of veterans and scrappers would be able to compete for the franchise’s 17th title?
 
Let’s get our positivity snapback caps on, Silver Screen & Rollers. How could these Lakers become NBA Finalists?
 

(Dig more over at Silver Screen & Roll!)

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Instant Trade Analysis: Metta World Peace to the New York Knicks

New York Knicks get: SF Metta World Peace (two years, $3 million)
 
(The following was a MAMBINO e-mail chain started off by renegade blogger, friend of the blog and all-around degenerate Jimbo Shingles. What followed was an Instant Trade Analysis of Metta World Peace signing with the New York Knickerbockers)
 
Jimbo Shingles: What do we think about this?
 
Where are are the Knicks missing depth? What can they do to win the whole thing?
 
The CDP: Regarding Metta, he fell off the second half of the year a bit, but he was on fire and reinvigorated entering the year. He was in great shape, and an absolute bull dog on defense. His speed has been leaving him for years (he’s 33!), so he can’t guard the fastest guys in the league anymore, but he still has incredibly quick, strong hands and he has great instincts on the ball. Plus, he uses his size well to body up bigs and not give an inch.
 

Offensively he’s not the same beast–Metta has always needed a lot of volume to be even remotely efficient–but he’s definitely serviceable enough in the right positions (open threes, in the post) to keep defenses honest. … Read more...

What went wrong with the 2012-2013 Los Angeles Lakers … big men?

C Dwight Howard: 76 games, 76 games started, 6 missed (for injury) 17.1 ppg, 12.4 rpg, 1.4 apg, .578/.167/.492

 

PF Pau Gasol: 49 games, 42 games started, 32 missed, 13.7 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 4.1 apg, .466/.286/.702

 

PF Jordan Hill: 29 games, 1 game started, 52 missed, 6.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 0.4 apg, .497/.000/.656

 

SF Metta World Peace: 75 games, 66 games started, 7 missed, 12.4 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.5 apg, .403/.342/.734

 

F Antawn Jamison: 76 games, 6 games started, 9.4 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 0.7 apg, .464/.361/.691

 

F Earl Clark: 59 games, 36 games started, 7.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.1 apg, .440/.337/.697

 

SF Devin Ebanks: 19 games, 3 games started, 3.4 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 0.5 apg, .329/.273/.786

 

C Robert Sacre: 32 games, 3 games started, 1.3 ppg, 1.1 rpg, 0.2 apg .375/.000/.636

 

What went wrong with the Lakers bigs?

 

Howard and Gasol didn’t learn how to play with one another for five months.

 

Or perhaps, Mike Brown and Mike D’Antoni couldn’t figure it out until it was too late. Either way, what most thought would be a fluid transition with one of the game’s best shut down defenders and most versatile bigs turned out to be clunky and awkward.

 

Of the 13 two-man combinations that spent 900 minutes or more together, Howard and Gasol settled in as having the lowest offensive efficiency (points per 100 possessions) at 103.5–the season average was 105.6. Of course, this isn’t a perfect metric by any means, but the Lakers didn’t grab more a higher percentage of rebounds (51.1% versus a season average of 51.2%) and gave up 16.4 TO a game (15 was the season average).

 

Just watching them, it was clear that Gasol wasn’t being used as efficiently as possible. He often set up on long-range jumpers, shooting from 16 feet or more almost as many times as at the rim. In fact, Pau took 1 more 3-pointer this year in 49 games than he did in 65 games last year. To make matters worse, Howard had his worst offensive season by almost any metric, and was taking away the low post touches that Gasol excels at.

 
(Read on at Silver Screen & Roll)… Read more...

Injuries–not the coach or front office–are what’s killed the 2012-2013 Los Angeles Lakers

(My latest from Silver Screen & Roll)
 
In early January, the Los Angeles Lakers went through an almost unthinkable wave of injuries. Within a two-game span, the team’s entire big man rotation crumbled with a laundry list of various maladies; Dwight Howard with a torn labrum in his right shoulder, Pau Gasol with a brutal concussion after an errant JaVale McGee elbow and reserve Jordan Hill with a torn labrum in his left hip. At the time, it was frankly implausible that this could happen all at once. The Lakers had already been snake bitten all season long, with Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Gasol missing huge chunks of games with various injuries. The thought of one star going down was devastating enough–but a coach’s entire front court getting hurt? All in a 48-hour period? Ridiculous.
 
And then it happened again.
 
During Game 2 in the opening round of the playoffs against the San Antonio Spurs, Mike D’Antoni’s back court rotation cratered with various physical problems. In addition to Kobe Bryant (ruptured left Achilles tendon) and Jodie Meeks (sprained left ankle) being on the shelf in the past week, Steve Blake strained his hamstring, while Steve Nash aggravated an already painful nerve irritation affecting his back, hip and hamstring. Blake has already been ruled out for tonight’s game, while Nash and Meeks are listed as doubtful. It appears that much like that fateful 48 hour period in early January, what remains of an already fragile Lakers guards corps has gone down in 3 short days.
 
The odds of this happening once, let alone twice is of course, astronomical. With the exception of Antawn Jamison (who has been playing through a painful tear in his right wrist) and Earl Clark (who only began to play during the aforementioned January apocalypse on any man 6’11” and above), every single Lakers rotation player has missed time with injury, almost all of them serious health concerns. To punch the point home, let’s go to the tape:
 
Steve Nash: Missed 32 games (Hip/back/hamstring: 8 games, fractured right fibula: 24 games)
 
Steve Blake: Missed 37 games (Torn abdominal muscle: 37 games, strained right hamstring: 0 games, but out for tonight’s game)
 
Pau Gasol: Missed 33 games (Tendinitis both knees: 8 games, concussion: 5 games, right plantar fascia tear: 20 games)
 
Jordan Hill: Missed 53 games (Torn labrum/damaged cartilage left hip: 53 games)
 
Dwight Howard: Missed 6 games (Torn labrum right shoulder: 6 games)
 
Metta World Peace: Missed 6 games (Right torn meniscus: 6 games)
 
Kobe Bryant: Missed 6 games (Left ankle sprain: 2 games, ruptured left Achilles tendon: 4 games)
 
Jodie Meeks: Missed 0 games (Left ankle sprain: 0 games, but expected to miss tonight’s contest)
 
(Read on after the jump)

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State of Laker Nation Playoff Recap: What?

(Seeking solace from one pathetic Lakers apologist to another, The CDP and I exchanged a series of e-mails regarding Denver’s laugher over a listless Lakers squad last night. Here’s our e-mail exchange, in the form of a game recap)

This kid’s Xmas ornament was as useful as Payton in purple and gold.

KOBEsh: There were so many parts of last night’s Game 6 that made want to hurl myself out a window and alternately throw my Gary Payton #20 Christmas ornament at the television. What do you think was the most egregious offense made by the Lakers last night?

The CDP: I’m gonna go with Mike Brown and his rotations, which have been a problem all year. Kobe may have been the only guy who showed up, but he was also sick and Brown played him 37 of a possible 42 minutes before sitting the last 6 minutes when the game was out of hand. More than that though, if your team doesn’t show up, you have to spice it up. In the third quarter, Pau was absolutely killing us as the Nuggets built a big lead.

Despite Jordan Hill being our most effective big for the series, Brown waited nearly 9 minutes before throwing the Spaniard on the bench. Even the bottomless reserve of energy and hustle that is Josh McRoberts could have mixed things up. To me, it’s unclear that Mike Brown has been able to hold his bigs accountable, either through rotation choices or off-court film sessions. I was angry that Pau was bricking jump shots, but the problem with our bigs last night was the story of the series: lackluster or non-existent help defense and marginal effort on the boards.  Considering the context, it’s a fair question. Was this 3 point, 3 rebound “performance” Pau’s worst game as a Laker?

Not to pile it on Coach Brown here, but I just looked at the NBA leaders in minutes played to see where Pau and Kobe ended up. Pau was number 2 (behind only Durantula) and Kobe number was 11 for the season despite missing 7 games to injury. When I look at the top 20 in minutes played, I see one thing in common: youth. Kobe and Pau are the only players north of 30 to make the list. I understand why Brown felt he had to ride his workhorses to a respectable regular season record, but this kind of minutes management is unbelievable. I have a word for it: anti-Popovichian. A 33 year old Kobe’s average jumped nearly 5 minutes a game this year, the exact opposite of where he should be trending.

KOBEsh: Going back to an earlier point you made, doing a quick scan of Pau’s Lakers career game logs, only two of his games come even remotely close to last night’s meltdown:

3/26/10 vs. the Thunder (75-91 Loss):  9 points, 5 rebounds, no assists, 1 block on 3-10 shooting in 27 minutes
4/20/11 vs. the Hornets (87-78 Win in Game 2 of the Western Conference opening round): 8 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 blocks on 2 for 10 shooting in 36 minutes.


Since it was a loss and the overall stat line was worse, Pau’s game against the Thunder over two years ago was remarkably atrocious. However, seeing as the game against the Hornets last year was in the playoffs, even with a slightly better night, could you count that as his 2nd-worst game as a Laker seeing as it was a playoff game? Regardless of which was worse, we can all agree that Gasol’s essential no-show against the Nuggets last night was far and away the most terrible contest he’s had in purple and gold.

I agree with your assessment of Brown’s rotations; Pau and Andrew just weren’t bringing the energy last night, but I think it was mostly on defense. Denver has found a way to effec… Read more...

Five Quick Thoughts on the Metta World Peace Suspension

How much more can be said on this? The talking heads have been going bonkers the past 2 days, and this could be the 1,345th article, post or report written about Metta World Peace’s left elbow and James Harden’s head in the last 24 hours. So to break up the monotony, we have five quick thoughts stemming from MWP’s 7 game suspension handed down by the league last night.

 1) It was about 2 games too much

I’m not condoning what MWP did, giving a MMA-style hit and dropping another guy in the middle of the court. But for comparison’s sake, let’s look at Andrew Bynum’s hip check on JJ Barea in last year’s playoffs, the last really vicious hit by a Laker on an unsuspecting victim.

Examining Bynum’s hit nearly a year later and knowing what we now know about him, it’s obvious that it was much more deliberate and pre-meditated than World Peace’s elbow on Sunday. During game 6 in Dallas, Bynum and Barea were running down the floor and while the hip check wasn’t a basketball play, Drew knew that he wanted to take Barea out. JJ got back up, a little more rattled than he was before, and continued to torch the Lakers, and then the OKC Thunder and the Miami Heat in the Finals to serve as a key cog in Dallas’ title run.

Bynum’s hit on Barea was just as vicious as MWP’s was on Harden, but the difference is that Barea didn’t get seriously hurt. Yes, the intent was the same but the end result was different. I don’t think the malicious nature of the blow was any different. 5 games should have been an appropriate punishment for Metta, but I can understand why they’d make it 7.

2) We’re not asking the right question regarding the elbow

I’ve heard all the talk about if Metta saw Harden there, the angle that he swung that elbow and how he didn’t pay any attention after he made physical contact with another person’s skull (how does that even happen?). But the most prevailing and troubling question for me is simple. Why? Why would he ever do that?

It’s pretty clear to me that MWP had turned into a testoterone-filled beast after that dunk. A PT Cruiser driven by a Nutella facsimile of Burt Reynolds could have come crashing through the ceiling of Staples Center at that exact moment and I’m still not sure that Metta would have even noticed it. He claims that he was running back down the court and celebrating a moderately epic slam in the midst of a Lakers comeback scoring run. According to Metta, his primal rejoicing got a little out of control, and in a moment of pure bliss, he clocked Harden in the back of the head.

Obviously I don’t buy that. In the slow motion replay, you can tell that he sees Harden there, or at the very least, feels another human brushing up against his entire left side. Maybe he thought that James was invading his personal space a little too much, and was doing a simple elbow to his side to “clear out” the interloper. That I would buy; it happens in every single NBA game I’ve ever watched with guys coming back up the floor.

But Metta throws that elbow up, and completely follows through with it. He didn’t just clear out space – he razed the foundation and salted the earth so that nothing would ever grow there again. Why would you ever do it like that? What possible benefit could that have? And why that action in the first place? Why not a shove or shoulder bump? Why did you choose to hit someone that hard, that quick, and in such a lethal way? This was like lighting a cigarette with a blow torch. Compl… Read more...

Metta Gives Harden Some World Peace

I mean, was World Peace trying to haphazardly infuse a blatant elbow to Harden’s dome into what he thought would come off as a celebration?

This guy has been playing his tail off for YOUR Los Angeles Lakers. If he misses any postseason time, maybe he should change his name to Metta World Dipshit.

KOBEsh wrote about Metta World Peace’s first-ballot Hall of Fame credentials for Mambino’s Life and Times series. He might have to add an update for today’s event.… Read more...

The Life and Times of Metta World Peace

Ron Artest is a fine name. But what does that name really mean? Is there a message I can grab from those two words? When I hear the name “Ron Artest”, do I leave richer for the experience? No. No sir, I do NOT. But a name like Metta World Peace? That’s a message.

About a month ago, Lakers forward Ron Artest decided to change his name to Metta World Peace, petitioning the Los Angeles Municipal Court with the proper paperwork. Hopefully Metta himself did not fill out the forms.

This is not a post to debate the merits or disadvantages of such an action; it’s stupid. There, argument settled. But this did get me thinking that this little stunt of Mr. World Peace is just one in a long line of illustriously madcap ideas that he’s had. In fact, if I were to make a list of all the ridiculous things he’s done over the past 10 years, I’m not sure that changing his name to Metta World Peace (by the way, is his last name Peace? Or is it World Peace? And can you imagine Marv Albert calling a Lakers game next year? “And World Peace, from the corner…YES! METTA WORLD PEACE, WITH…THE….DAGGER!”) would even stand out. Well, you be the judge. Presenting the Life and Times of Metta World Peace.

June to September, 2000: Metta applies for a job at a Chicago Circuit City, primarily so he could take advantage of the store’s employee discount. Under references, he used Chicago Bulls owner Jerry Krause. As for his previous work experience, he wrote “NBA Player”.

June to September, 2001: World Peace guards his idol and former Chicago Bull Michael Jordan. Metta plays with such tenacity and intensity, that he in fact breaks two of Michael’s ribs in the process. In a summer pick-up game.

February 23rd, 2004: Out for a month due to thumb surgery, World Peace shows up at an Indiana Pacers practice wearing a bathrobe over his practice gear. He says that the robe was a reminder to “take it easy” following surgery.

November 11th, 2004: World Peace reportedly gets suspended by then Indiana Pacers coach Rick Carlisle for asking for a month off to recuperate from “exhaustion”. “Exhaustion” from promoting a new R&B record he produced. World Peace and Carlisle later said that it was all a misunderstanding and though World Peace did ask for time off, he “said it the wrong way”.

November 9th, 2004: World Peace, along with Ben Wallace, triggers a brawl that would eventually involve the entire Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers and patrons of the Palace at Auburn Hills. Maybe you’ve heard of this. I hope it’s on youtube.

November, 2005: World Peace shaves “Tru Warier” into the back of his head, as promotion for his record label. David Stern was excited at the notion, saying how happy he was that his players were such enterprising young men.

December 12th, 2005: After missing 86 games (including the playoffs) with Indiana the previous season due to suspension, World Peace constantly claims how happy he is to finally be returning to the Pacers for the 2005-2006 season. He asked for a trade just a month later.

July 9th, 2006: With the Sacramento Kings, World Peace jokingly threatens to kill teammate Bonzi Wells if he did not resign with the Kings that summer. Wells somehow lived to sign with the Houston Rockets instead.

June 17th, 2008: After the Lakers lost the deciding game 6 to the Boston Celtics in the 2008 Finals, World Peace, fully dressed, walked into the Lakers’ shower room after the loss. He then proceedRead more...