The New York Knicks, due to their straining situation with the salary cap, weren’t able to make many free-agent signings of any consequence heading into the 2013-14 NBA season. In fact, arguably the biggest free-agent addition that they made this summer was to add veteran forward Metta World Peace for this season.
Over the last few seasons, World Peace has shown signs of slowing down as a player. His lateral speed has diminished a bit which has caused his once elite defensive skills. However, he’s still been a quick-handed on-ball defender that can create turnovers and has been at least a decent option offensively, though you wouldn’t want him to try and carry your team.
In the start to this season with the Knicks, though, World Peace has been struggling mightily, as has his team. In the Knicks’ loss to the Washington Wizards on Saturday, their ninth out of their first 12 games of the season, World Peace played just 10 minutes off of the bench and finished the contest with just five points, three boards and one block while shooting only 2-7 from the floor. Really, that’s been the paltry production he’s shown all season.
In his nine appearances prior to Saturday, World Peace was averaging just 8.6 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 23.2 minutes per game. Moreover, he was shooting only 41 percent from the floor and just 28.6 percent from long-distance. The Knicks have been slightly better in terms of points per 100 possessions with him on the floor, but have been slightly worse defensively, which sort of negates his impact.
Though it’s sad to see on as big of a stage as the Knicks offer, this might be the end of the road for Metta. Sure, it’s obviously not an ideal situation right now in New York, but World Peace is part of the problem rather than the solution. He’s not able to perform offensively or defensively at the level New York would have liked him to and, really, I’m not sure if it’s going to get any better.