Los Angeles Lakers Await the Return of Metta World Peace: Fan Breakdown

Yahoo Contributor Network

Since Los Angeles Lakers' forward Metta World Peace decided to try and make James Harden deaf in his right ear, the Lakers have actually missed his play. Despite the year World Peace was having in April, he exploded for the Lakers - averaging 14.1 points per game and was defending like the Ron Artest of old. I think there were several contributing factors to his sudden emergence as a key player for the Lakers. One of them was his conditioning and endurance. It seemed as if his energy level had suddenly shot through the roof once the calendar rolled to April. And along with his increased energy came an increased effort on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor.

Now that World Peace has served his suspension for elbowing Harden, the Lakers have him back to try and help stave off a first-round exit from the playoffs. World Peace is likely to start Game 7 in place of Devin Ebanks and will help the Lakers in the following capacities:

Will to Win

Kobe Bryant needs players out on the floor who want to win - or at least hate to lose. With Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum shying away from the spotlight for the second playoff run in a row, someone needs to play fearlessly alongside Bryant. There is no better candidate in my mind than World Peace. World Peace will not quit on the Lakers and will play hard until the final horn sounds - something that Bynum and Gasol could learn a thing or two about.

Guarding Kenneth Faried

Kenneth Faried has been a problem for the Lakers all series long. Too bad he has yet to be guarded by one of the fiercest and unrelenting defenders in all of the NBA - Metta World Peace. I imagine that it will be World Peace guarding Faried - at least that is what makes sense in my mind - and Faried had better be ready to compete hard if Mike Brown should pair them up. With neither Gasol nor Bynum up for the challenge of stopping Faried earlier in the series, World Peace is sure to get the job done.

Rebounding and Scoring

The Lakers have looked pathetic on the defensive glass at times during this series - largely in part to Faried and his tenacity on the boards. World Peace will not only guard Faried, but he should be able to pull in those defensive rebounds that Gasol and Bynum aren't getting to. He will also contribute on the offensive end of the floor, hopefully carrying over his scoring groove from before his suspension. If the Lakers can get at least 12 points out of World Peace - including some three-pointers - then Game 7 should be all but won.

Overall, World Peace will be a welcome sight on the floor against the Nuggets, but will it be enough for the Lakers to get the victory? Does World Peace put the Lakers over the top in your mind, or do Gasol and Bynum weigh down the team too much?

David is co-founder of wrapupp sports blog where fresh content is posted daily and present sports blogs and sports opinions - all with a West Coast bias. Growing up in the Bay Area, David is a huge supporter of all the local sports teams; the Giants, Athletics, Warriors, Sharks, 49ers, and Raiders. His one fault, admittedly, as many of his friends and family would say, is his love for the Los Angeles Lakers. Growing up, Magic Johnson was his favorite basketball player and he fell in love with the team. He chalks it up to, "Not knowing any better". Now his love for sports has turned just as academic as it is intuitive and he follows most all sports all over the nation.

You can follow David on Twitter: @officialwrapupp

Sources:

NBA.com. Andrew Bynum Post-Game Interview. NBA 2012.

NBA.com. Lakers and Nuggets Game 6 Box Score. NBA 2012.

LATimes.com. Metta World Peace satisfied with conditioning heading into Game 7. NBA 2012.

More from David Mehrwein and the Yahoo! Contributor Network:

Will San Francisco 49ers' Randy Moss Help Guide Michael Crabtree in the Right Direction? Fan Question

Is Andrew Bynum a Cancer to the Los Angeles Lakers? Quote Roundup

San Francisco 49ers' Undrafted Free Agent Chris Owusu Ready to Prove Doubters Wrong: Fan Breakdown

Andrew Bynum Lacks Intensity as Los Angeles Lakers Fall to Denver Nuggets: Fan Reaction

Los Angeles Lakers' Playoff History: Why the Lakers Will Beat the Denver Nuggets in Game 5 - Fan Breakdown

View Comments