With the Lakers and Nuggets set to square off in Game 4 on Sunday night, the entire series will be altered one way or another. If Los Angeles wins they will take a commanding 3-1 series lead heading back to Los Angeles, and could close out the Nuggets in Game 5. But, if Denver wins, the series is tied 2-2 and quickly becomes a best-of-three scenario.
While rest is obviously crucial for an aging team like Los Angeles, the more games they play the quicker they are to the return of Metta World Peace, who is serving a seven-game suspension for elbowing James Harden of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the second-to-last game of the regular season.
When asked about the situation with World Peace, team head coach Mike Brown told the L.A. Times he wasn’t thinking about it.
“Not being mean, I don’t really think about the Metta situation because I can’t. It’s not in my control. Metta’s still part of the team. He gave some valuable input that I actually talked to the team about in the shoot-around. He’s trying to be part of this as best he can. He’s heavily involved with watching the game and trying to give his opinion on different things to different individuals.”
World Peace still has three games left to serve before his suspension is up. With the Lakers poised to take on the Thunder in the second round, they may be wise to consider the effects that a longer series has on the team. But Lakers guard Ramon Sessions isn’t buying any of that.
“If we sweep them, we get more rest. With the playoffs, you’ve got to get the wins where you can get them.”
The Nuggets will host the Lakers at 6:30 PST on Sunday night at the Pepsi Center for Game 4.