Metta World Peace did not look good Sunday playing for the Los Angeles Lakers against the Miami Heat. In fact, he was downright dreadful in front of a national TV audience. Of course, not many people have been able to stop James lately. World Peace, one might have thought, would have made it interesting and would have at least tried to make James work for everything he got.
James simply made it look too easy.
The hope for Laker fans would have been for World Peace to make up for his lousy defense with good offense.
World Peace was 3-of-11 from the field, and the Lakers lost 107-97.
He’s averaging 13 points and 5.7 rebounds for the season, with nearly two steals a game. But World Peace’s number have been down in recent games. For a team that’s 24-28, the Lakers need more hustle, grit and focus from World Peace. They’re not getting it.
Last Friday, World Peace was 5-of-14 against the Charlotte Bobcats. The day before he was 2-of-13 against the Boston Celtics, in a game the Lakers also lost. He has not been putting in quality minutes and the Lakers are suffering, as a result.
In January, World Peace was showing flashes of his old self. In February, he’s gone back to being a player no one recognizes.
But for World Peace, perhaps that’s OK…if he were playing for an NBA team that no one recognizes either. It’s certainly not an NBA title-contending team, especially if they assign ineffective defensive players like World Peace to guard the best player in the world.