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Category: Metta World Peace

Thunder would beat Lakers in playoffs

Oklahoma City Thunder

Why the Thunder is a threat to the Lakers: The Lakers showed in their 100-85 loss Thursday to Oklahoma City why they would have no chance against the Thunder in the playoffs. Regardless of how the Lakers tried to control the tempo, it didn't work. The Thunder went on a 9-0 third-quarter run even though the Lakers remained methodical on offense and minimized Oklahoma City's transition game. The Thunder also scored 21 fast-break points. All in all, they showcased their depth, while the Lakers scrambled to find oxygen masks.

Why the Lakers are a threat to the Thunder: Blame part of the Lakers' struggles against the Thunder to their back-to-back the previous night against Dallas. In the playoffs, the Lakers would have more days to rest their aging bones and to make adjustments. James Harden's trash talk would prompt Kobe Bryant to light him up the next game. Metta World Peace would have more chances to figure out how to temper Kevin Durant's scoring. Andrew Bynum wouldn't do as much of a disappearing act. Also, come April, the Lakers offense will look much prettier than it appears right now.

VERDICT: Two years ago, the Lakers survived a six-game first-round series against the Thunder because of their experience. That's not a factor anymore. Oklahoma City is now battle-tested, having reached last year's Western Conference finals. Meanwhile, the Lakers have become older and slower. Unless they upgrade their roster, they likely could only push a playoff series to five games. 

RELATED:

Lakers would beat Clippers in the playoffs

Miami Heat would give Lakers trouble in NBA Finals

-- Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) and guard James Harden slap hands after scoring against the Lakers and power forward Troy Murphy in the first half Thursday night in Oklahoma City. Credit: Sue Ogrocki / Associated Press / February 23, 2012

Lakers Chat: Lakers vs. Oklahoma City

Metta World Peace

Usually opponents viewed the Lakers as measuring stick games, hoping a regular-season victory would reveal how they could fare in the postseason.

Now it's the opposite. The Lakers (20-13) visit Oklahoma City (26-7), the Western Conference's top team that many feel will advance to the NBA Finals. The Lakers will quickly find out if their aging and experienced roster will prove enough against a team, whose average age rests at 25.46.

After defeating the aging Celtics on Thursday, the Thunder has confidence the purple & gold will also run out of energy. After picking up their first road signature win against Dallas, the Lakers remain determined that they've finally established a positive identity.

CLick below the jump to discuss and find out which scenario unfolds

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Metta World Peace amused by "Hack-a-Metta"

It appeared a double-digit Lakers victory Monday over Portland was all but inevitable.

That is until the Trail Blazers adopted a "Hack-a-Metta" strategy, in the hope Metta World Peace's 51.1% mark at the free-throw line would work in their favor. Instead, World Peace's six points in the Lakers 103-92 victory came mostly came from hitting four of six shots at the stripe. He was one for four from the field.

"It never happened,  but that was awesome," World Peace said. "I wasn't planning on scoring no more in that game. I was planning on just playing defense and passing the ball. I was cool with two points, but they gave me six. I'm like, cool. I got six points today. I'm very happy about that."

--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Ranking Metta World Peace's tweets on Jeremy Lin

Metta World PeaceWithin a five-day span, Metta World Peace went from delivering punch lines about Jeremy Lin to forever singing his praises.

Just as everyone wondered if Linsanity would translate when the New York Knicks hosted the Lakers last week, World Peace had trouble resisting a few playful digs when he talked to reporters, including The Times' Mike Bresnahan.

First at his game: "I know he used to miss layups on the fast break at Golden State. I know he used to turn the ball over at half-court. He was trying to find himself. He must have had a lot of pressure on him. Now, he's playing ball."

Then World Peace made fun of Lin's appearance: "We think he needs a better haircut. I don't like that style. We're in New York, the fashion capital. You're a star now."

Lastly came World Peace's poking fun at Lin's personality: "Put down the nerdy Harvard book glasses. Put on some black shades with some leather pants. Change your style. Put down that law book. Stop reading the New York Times. Come to practice with your pants sagging and just tell them, 'I don't feel like practicing.' Come to practice with a cigar lit."

Yet, when Lin made a game-winning three-pointer en route to a 90-87 victory Tuesday over the Toronto Raptors, World Peace stormed out of the Lakers' players lounge yelling at the top of his lungs.

"Linsanity!!!"

Based on his revelation that he wants to buy Lin's jersey and his frequent tweets about the Knicks star, World Peace's infatuation with him surely hasn't died down. Below are a few of his best examples.

1. God created earth in 7 days, Jeremy Lin created energy in new York city in 6 games...

2. Chinese currency should say LIN instead of YEN...

3. Jeremy Lin can score on anyone without a ProbLIN...

4. I will be holding a press conference on Jeremy Lin's play. My congregation is very pleased. The best point guard in the NBA is here...

5. The only reason Jeremy Lin is playing in the NBA is because he is blessed and its not a LINconvenience to him...

6. Jeremy aka 'Mr. New York' Lin will be purchasing half the empire state building. No autographs until after season; sorry for the inconvenience.

RELATED: 

Metta World Peace, Mike Brown both at fault for dustup

Jeremy Lin's heroics leave Lakers giddy

Lakers briefly discussed signing Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin

--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Lakers forward Metta World Peace dunks over Atlanta center Zaza Pachulia during the third quarter of Tuesday's game. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Metta World Peace at odds with Mike Brown

Fox Sports West's Joe McDonnell talks to an unnamed Laker who mentions that several players want the front office to part ways with Metta World Peace
--Fox Sports West's Joe McDonnell talks to an unnamed Laker who mentions that several players want the front office to part ways with Metta World Peace. McDonnell also delves into World Peace's frustration regarding his role under Coach Mike Brown.

--The Times' Ben Bolch reports that the Lakers don't have serious interest in free-agent guard Gilbert Arenas.

--The Orange County Register's Janis Carr wonders if Arenas would solve the Lakers' problems.

--The Globe and Mail's Eric Duhatschek and Sean Gordon profile UCLA-bound Nirra Fields. Lakers Coach Mike Brown and his wife, Carolyn, are Fields' legal guardians. 

--The Daily News' Elliott Teaford reports that Arenas' workout for the Lakers over the weekend went well.

--Lakers.com's Mike Trudell hangs out with rookie guards Andrew Goudelock and Darius Morris while they play NBA Jam.

--Silver Screen and Roll's Actuarially Sound looks at the Lakers' identity.

--Forum Blue and Gold's Darius Soriano compares the Lakers' progress this season to playing whack-a-mole.

Tweet of the Day: "As Jeremy lin's manager , I think he should buy a sailboat. Everyday day I will tweet advice to my client Jeremy Lin" -- MettaWorldPeace (Lakers forward Metta World Peace)

Rick Friedman Reader Comment of the Day: "At first I was opposed bringing Arenas on board. But after this Grammy trip, I am convinced that they need to make some kind of move. PG is their weakest link and it definitely needs to be addressed. For some reason, I feel that the Lakers will not be making any kind of move. I have no faith in the front office when Jim Buss will not relinquish his control over management. Let Mitch do his job. And Brown needs to stop changing the roster so much that. This takes away the benches confidence when they don't know if they will ever get on the floor. It's time to stop experimenting and make up your mind." -- Matt Phu

--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Metta World Peace shows his frustration after being called for a foul during the Lakers' game against the Charlotte Bobcats on Jan. 31. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Five things to take from Lakers' 93-89 win in Denver

Lakers31. An important road win against a conference playoff contender. Let's start with the biggest positive of the night: a quality win on the road against a conference opponent. So it wasn't pretty, but the Lakers still went on the road to beat the Nuggets, 93-89. When they want to know whether you won or lost, they ask how many, not how well you played. The Nuggets (15-8) have proven to be a formidable opponent since the departure of Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks as well as Kenyon Martin (now of the Clippers) and J.R. Smith to China. Just as impressive, the Lakers (14-9) overcame some controversial calls, or non-calls, to earn the victory and move up in the Western Conference standings.

2. Broken record: The Lakers need to execute better on offense. Once again, the Lakers continued to have breakdowns in running their offensive sets, often resulting in poor-quality possessions that ended with rushed shots at the end of the 24-second clock. And with Andrew Bynum running hot, how can he end the game with only 13 shots? The Lakers continually failed to get him the ball when he had great post position. A couple of scenarios in the game included the Lakers' two most veteran players -- guards Derek Fisher and Kobe Bryant -- failing to get Bynum the ball when he had established himself on the block. Bryant ended up driving wildly into the lane and hoisting an off-balance shot on more than one occasion.

3. Broken record II: The Lakers need to improve their transition defense. Too many times the Nuggets were able to get down the court for easy layups. And that included big men Nene and Timofey Mozgov as well as the speedy Ty Lawson and other perimeter players. The Nuggets are primarily a young and athletic team, and they're not the only one in the West that will torch teams in transition if defenses aren't paying attention. Think Thunder, Clippers, Blazers, Jazz, Warriors, etc.

PHOTOS: Lakers vs. Nuggets

4. Broken record III: Kobe Bryant needs to know when to defer to the big men. Bynum made 10 of 13 shots for 22 points while collecting 10 rebounds and Pau Gasol was five of 10 from the field for 13 points while pulling down 17 rebounds. It became obvious as the game unfolded that the Lakers had the advantage on the front line. When your two big men are shooting better than 65% combined, they need to take more than 23 shots in the game.

5. Andrew Goudelock continues to impress. The rookie guard made six of 10 shots, including one of three from three-point range, for 13 points, his fourth double-digit effort in the last five games. When Steve Blake returns to the lineup, the Lakers' backcourt will have more weapons and depth, plus the ability to give more rest to Fisher and Bryant.

RELATED:

Lakers avoid stumble at start of road trip

GM Mitch Kupchak remains positive despite road woes

Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum lead the L.A. All-Star contingent

--Dan Loumena

Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant drives the baseline for a reverse layup in front of the rim against the Nuggets in the second half Friday night at the Pepsi Center in Denver. Credit: Jack Dempsey / Associated Press

Roaches, road trips? It's all the same to Lakers' Metta World Peace [Video]

When asked Tuesday evening about the Lakers' impending six-game road trip, Metta World Peace started talking about roaches.

"I grew up around roaches," he said. "And it was bad. Too many of them. To many friends, yeah, in New York. I got a lot of roach friends.

I'd wake up, they'd wake up in my cereal. They'd wake up like, you know, just Ron what's up, good morning. One leg in my macaroni, the other leg in my corn. They just made themselves comfortable at my home."

Um, yeah.

Who are the lucky guys that get to sit next to him on the team plane? Andrew Bynum, Luke Walton and Steve Blake.

When asked what they talk about, World Peace didn't hesitate.

"Roaches," he said.

MORE:

The Lakers reveal their New Year's resolutions

Metta World Peace: I'm a 'worthless servant' [Video]

Metta World Peace gives thanks he still has his teeth

 --Melissa Rohlin

Lakers enjoy plenty of rest against Bobcats

Some highlights of my breakdown of the Lakers' 106-73 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Tuesday:

  • The main thing in this win has to do with Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum resting. That's because it's misleading to try to gauge anything else after a win against the worst team in the NBA. Considering how little Coach Mike Brown has rested Bryant, Gasol and Bynum, however, it's crucial that the Lakers found an opportunity to do so against Charlotte.
  • Andrew Goudelock's confidence continues to grow. Who knows whether he'll able to sustain the double-digit efforts that he's shown in the last four games? But with Steve Blake's continued absence and uncertainty about whether the Lakers can upgrade at point guard, team officials are relieved that someone can at least hold the fort temporarily.
  • It remains unclear if Brown will continue shuffling Metta World Peace and Matt Barnes at small forward. But it's very clear that Barnes brings more consistency.
  • Games like the one Tuesday night can be deceiving. The victory could serve as a nice psychological boost for the Lakers as they begin a six-game road trip Friday in Denver. Or it could give them a false sense of confidence.

ALSO:

Uh-oh, here come the . . . Bobcats?

Things to watch in Lakers-Charlotte Bobcats matchup

Mike Brown more concerned with development than limiting minutes

--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Lakers reportedly interested in Ramon Sessions

The Times' Mike Bresnahan explains why the Lakers struggle against the Charlotte Bobcats--Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Lakers remain interested in acquiring Cleveland point guard Ramon Sessions.

--The Times' Mike Bresnahan explains why the Lakers struggle against the Charlotte Bobcats.

--The Charlotte Observer's Rick Bonnell reports that Gerald Henderson, D.J. White and newcomer Reggie Williams will play Tuesday against the Lakers.

--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding argues that Metta World Peace's move to the starting lineup is a good idea.

--Fox Sports lists Lakers forward Josh McRoberts as one of the 10 best NBA enforcers.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky argues that the Lakers shouldn't pursue free-agent guard Gilbert Arenas.

--Hoops Hype's Roland Lazenby wonders if Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak will stay.

--Sports Illustrated's Zach Lowe remains concerned about Kobe Bryant's minutes.

--The Daily News' Elliot Teaford focuses on the Lakers' struggles against Charlotte.

--Lakers.com's Mike Trudell talks to trainer Gary Vitti about various team injuries.

--Silver Screen and Roll's Actuarially Sound wonders why the Lakers have struggled with rebounding.

--Forum Blue and Gold's Darius Soriano wonders why the Lakers aren't lowering Bryant's minutes.

--Lakers Nation's Nadya Avakian says Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum are key to solving the Lakers' consistency issues.

--Laker Nation's David Brickley, Jason Riley and Kevin Figgers debate numerous Laker topics.

Radio interview

I talk all things Lakers with ESPN Radio 1430's Guy Haberman in the audio file below.

Mark Medina on ESPN Radio

Tweet of the Day: "The @blakegriffin dunk tonight over Perkins made me realize that he's one of the best in-game dunkers in @NBA history." -- MagicJohnson (Lakers legend Magic Johnson) 

Rick Friedman Reader Comment of the Day: "I can see Sessions. But I was under the impression that the Lamar exemption was to be used in trades for major new talent. If Ramon Sessions is the difference between a ring or the lottery this season, sure, trade exemption well spent. I think people in the Arenas camp weren't so much in love with Arenas as they were with the 'can get for vet minimum' factor. If we are blowing the trade exemption on stuff like Sessions, I would propose that we are better off saving the money, or blowing it on somebody who we can trade for a draft pick.

I appreciate hearing about stuff like how Sessions or other players would contribute, but please. At least acknowledge that the two aren't entirely comparable. I don't say this as someone who wants us to get Arenas, at least at the expense of somebody else. I say this as someone who thinks the two aren't mutually exlusive, and frankly they might both be a bad idea, but.... I mean, you ignore the fact that we could get Arenas AND Sessions with practically the same expense." -- Phred Phredphredington

-- Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Gerald Henderson and the Charlotte Bobcats have given Kobe Bryant and the Lakers fits, not to mention a losing record, recently. Credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times

What if Rick Adelman became the Lakers' head coach?

A few possibilities on how things might have unfolded had Minnesota's Rick Adelman become the Lakers' head coach

In only his first year as head coach, he's helped his players transition from the triangle offense, has overseen a promising point guard and has witnessed an all-star forward flourish.

We're not talking about Lakers Coach Mike Brown. His team remains inconsistent on running his read offense. The Lakers' point guard spot is their weakest link, and forward Pau Gasol has lacked consistency.

Instead, we're talking about Minnesota Timberwolves Coach Rick Adelman. Even though Minnesota's total offense dropped this season from 101.1 points per game to 95.11, the team's record (9-11) will easily surpass last season's win total (17). First-year point guard Ricky Rubio looks promising as a playmaker, averaging 11.4 points and 8.8 assists. Four-year all-star Kevin Love has increased his scoring average from 20.2 points per game to 24.9 and has decreased his weight from 265 pounds to 240. 

Adelman told reporters he's hardly thought about the Lakers front office passing over him and Brian Shaw in favor of Brown. But given the L.A. team's current struggles, many fans sure are. Below are a few possibilities on how things might have unfolded.

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