Entering last season, Metta World Peace weighed 274 pounds while playing small forward in the NBA. There’s only a handful of players who weigh that much in the league and they certainly don’t play small forward. While weighing that much, World Peace’s game suffered and he had the lowest point per game average of his career.
The small forward position is a position that you need an athletic player at and at 274 lbs that just wasn’t the case for Peace. The weight started to affect Peace’s defensive game and that is where he makes his calling.
After committing to a strict workout regimen with his brother and focusing on basketball, Peace showed up to training camp at 249 pounds, which is the weight he is used to playing at. Watching Peace play more and more, you can notice how much the weight was restricting his game a season ago. Last season, he couldn’t dunk the ball and would have problems with finishing layups. Now he is dunking regularly and moving more fluidly on the court.
The loss of weight has also made a difference in Peace’s overall game as a whole. He is averaging 13 points per game, which is impressive for him. Peace has never been a natural fit for the first two offenses that he has run while being a Los Angeles Laker, but since the system is more open and he’s in shape, the results are a lot better.
Hopefully Peace can stay in shape during the season and continue his improved play once Steve Nash gets back. Peace has always been a solid player and, when focused, can be a real difference maker for this Lakers team that needs it on both ends of the court.
If Peace keeps the weight in check and keeps his head on straight, we will see the player formerly known as Ron Artest who won defensive player of the year awards and was also an all star selection.