The season so far has been riddled with injuries, staff changes, losses, wins, and just an overall roller coaster of events and emotions. What is seemingly becoming the season nobody expected, so far, it is time to look within and ask why things are different. You can blame it on Mike Brown. You can blame it on unforeseeable injuries. You can even blame it on the strength of other competing teams. I say, it’s time to take a step back and do some reflection.
The Lakers had 20 missed free throws and another 19 turnovers against the Pacers two nights ago. They are currently dead last (30th) in the league in terms of total turnovers committed. The Lakers only had 13 assists vs the Pacers last game. The bench isn’t consistent; not many bench players can be relied on to bring energy and points/assists. Plus the fluctuation of players back and forth to the D-League leaves team bonding at the door. And let’s not forget Dwight Howard, who shoots below 50 percent at the line.
I am really looking forward to the return of Steve Nash. I could, honestly, care less whether Blake comes back. I think trading him out for a better back up PG is in order. Blake is too expensive for too little productivity. What immediately needs to happen though is for the Lakers to settle into a groove and play consistently. As Lakers Nation’s own Elizabeth Benson said, “the battle with consistency is arguably the most frustrating issue that is currently plaguing the Lakers and needs to be addressed as soon as possible.” Come game time, it has been really hard to predict which Lakers team will show up.
I wanted to end on a high note, something I am excited to see changing. That would be the player that is Metta World Peace this season. The Lakers veteran has had his fair share of personal cleansing, the most obvious of which was in September 2011 when Ron Artest officially became Metta World Peace. His decision to change his name was simple:
“Metta is going to be the first name and it means like friendship, love and kindness,” Artest told Stephen A. Smith on 710 ESPNLA in2011. “World Peace is going to be the last name, so everybody can get ready to buy their World Peace jerseys.”
In theory, his strategy was zany, but optimistic. The problem? In reality, Metta didn’t live up to his new name, still displaying a foul attitude and lousy work ethic last season, one in which the whole world witnessed with his infamous elbow to James Harden’s skull.
This 2012-2013 season is different though; if you’ve watched any number of Lakers games this season, you’ve noticed a new and improved Metta World Peace. For one, Metta got into shape, much better shape than prior to the 2011-2012 season. This has demonstrated a more ferocious and agile player, able to make baskets and better assist his teammates. Metta has also worked on his all around game–namely his three-point shot. This season, World Peace is averaging 14.0 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. Most importantly is the fact that his field goal percentage (43.6 percent) and three-point percentage (39.1 percent) are significantly up from last season’s averages of 39.4 percent and 29.6 percent, respectively.
With the degenerating Lakers free throw shooting and a team that hasn’t yet settled into a proper rhythm, its wonderful to see improvement in a player with incredible potential such as World Peace.
Lakers Nation News
Twin Tower Troubles? [Silver Screen and Roll]
Robert Sacre Assigned to D-League [Silver Screen and Roll]
Crowded Up Front [Forum Blue and Gold]
Questions for the Lakers [LA Times]
Lakers’ Blake Will Miss at Least Two More Weeks [OC Register]
Kobe Bryant Practices on Thursday [Inside the Lakers]
Lakers Aren’t Learning Their Lessons [Purple and Gold Blog]
Kobe Dismissive of Lakers’ Very Real Free Throw Issues [ProBasketballTalk]
Lakers’ Steve Nash Expects To Be Out Until at Least Next Week [LA Times]
Lakers Fix-It List Includes Team Unity, Better Defense [Lakers Blog]
Mike D’Antoni: “I Shouldn’t Have Gone to New York” [ProBasketballTalk]
Bryant’s Mental Makeup Needs to be Matched [ESPN]
Are Lakers Leaving Gasol Behind? [The Point Forward]
D’Antoni: Gasol ‘a Big Part of What We’re Going To Do’ [OC Register]
Steve Nash to Miss Next Two Games; Steve Blake Out for at Least Two More Weeks [Inside the Lakers]
The Free Throw Woes for the Los Angeles Lakers are Troubling [Eye on Basketball]
Lakers’ Bryant, Howard and Nash on List of Top Jersey Sellers [LA Times]
Phil Jackson Can’t Imagine Anyone Else Being a Better Lakers Coach [SLAM Online]
Rajon Rondo Suspended 2 Games After Sparking Celtics-Nets Fight [SB Nation]
San Antonio Spurs 118, Washington Wizards 92: A Blowout Was Just What the Spurs Needed [48 Minutes of Hell]
Signing Derek Fisher a Sign of Desperation [ESPN]
Bogut Had Microfracture Surgery on Ankle; May Be Out Months More [ProBasketballTalk]
Loving & Hating James Harden at the Same Damn Time [SB Nation]
Ricky Rubio of Minnesota Timberwolves Cleared to Begin Practicing [ESPN]
Derek Fisher to Sign with Dallas Mavericks [OC Register]
Bynum and His Old Neighbors Hate Each Other [SB Nation]
Rick Carlisle: Derek Fisher Not a ‘Cure-All’ [ESPN Dallas]
Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili Won’t Play for Spurs vs. Heat [SB Nation]
Maloofs Have (Part Of) A Deal In Virginia Beach [Sactown Royalty]
Billups Back but Clippers’ Worries Remain [TrueHoop Blog]
With Win Over Celtics, Brooklyn Nets Prove a Point … To Themselves [SB Nation]