Metta World Peace to play shooting guard on Lakersí second unit
“That’s going to be my second unit,” stated Mike Brown. “Metta will be the two, (Antawn) Jamison is the three, (Jordan) Hill is the four and (Dwight) Howard or Pau (Gasol) is going to be the five.”
Mike Brown experimented with the same combination during Sunday’s 106-79 win over the Detroit Pistons. With the introduction of this lineup in the third-quarter, featuring Dwight Howard, Antawn Jamison, Metta World Peace and Darius Morris at point guard, the Los Angeles Lakers were able to turn 18 point lead to 21 in under just 3 minutes.
However, under the new lineup, Devin Ebanks will remain in the rotation finding minutes at small forward or shooting guard as Mike Brown tries to give Kobe Bryant and Metta World Peace a breather in-between.
“I’ve got to give my bench a chance, because right now I really haven’t,” said Mike Brown. “I’ve been messing around with it too much trying to search for combinations”
With Kobe Bryant still averaging 36 minutes per game and the Los Angeles Lakers managing a decent scoring number as a team, Mike Brown might not feel the need insert Jodie Meeks (who was acquired as a backup to Kobe) and veteran Chris Duhon for significant minutes in the rotation.
“Now that I’ve found a combination that I think I want to roll with it a little bit,” added Mike Brown, “let’s give them a chance to see how they play before making another change.”
Metta World Peace’s role on the second unit could have its advantages for the Los Angeles Lakers’ offense since he appears to have performed reasonably better when not sharing the court with Kobe Bryant. Although Metta World Peace has scored on only 6-0f-19 form the arc, he’s hot 66 percent from the field, marking the 32-year-old as a threat in the post with high probability of driving the ball at eth net.
Defensively, not only does the 6-foot-7 Metta World Peace add size to a pretty big second unit lineup consisting of Darius Morris (6-4), Antawn Jamison (6-9),Jordan Hill (6-10) and Dwight Howard (6-11) but when Pau Gasol is bought into the rotation to give the give Howard a breather, it is even taller. Moreover, Metta World Peace is graded as the team’s top wing stopper, and with him in the lineup the Los Angeles Lakers’ defensive efficiency shoots up to 97.0.
All, that remains to be seen is how far Mike Brown can carry this second unit given his prior inconsistency with rotations and personnel combinations once the starters are benched.
Maybe we’ll catch a glimpse of what’s on the other side once the familiar Los Angeles Lakers second unit takeover the court from the starters, on Wednesday night against the Utah Jazz.