The Lakers have dug a nearly impossible hole to get out of. Friday night’s worst home loss in Lakers’ postseason history caused them to go behind in their first round series against the Spurs three games to none. No NBA team has ever comeback to win a series after falling to a 0-3 record, and with the depleted Lakers’ roster right now, it is gloomy around Laker Land.
The offense was not stable in Game 3 for the purple and gold, and their defense was lackluster to say the least. However, Metta World Peace is putting the 31-point loss on his shoulders. After having approximately 20 CCs of liquid drained from a popliteal cyst in his left leg (not related to his previous knee injury), his game was clearly affected by ongoing injuries.
MWP said after the game, per Dave McMenamin of ESPNLA:
“I was the weak link tonight…I wasn’t helping the team,” World Peace said. “Mentally, I was there, but it didn’t translate. Physically I wasn’t, but mentally I was there. I was trying to hustle a little bit, but Coach saw me dragging. Coach wanted a shot to win. He made a good choice.”
“I really believe if I didn’t play tonight, it would have been a faster-paced game for us. Nobody would have been dragging. Everybody would have been 100 percent. It was like 5-on-4.”
“I wasn’t effective,” World Peace said.
Metta World Peace went 0-for-6 from the field to go along with just one assist and zero rebounds in 17 minutes in the first half, which he went scoreless. At halftime, Mike D’Antoni made the decision to not play MWP in the second half, which Metta fully agreed with.
When asked if he will be ready for Game 4 on Sunday in Los Angeles, Metta replied that he “probably” won’t play, saying with his absence from Game 4:
“Then these guys will be at full strength,” World Peace said. “We’ll win on Sunday.”
“There’s no sense when we got guys that can win, why not let them win. We’ll win Sunday, then I’ll be better and then go to San Antonio [for Game 5 on Tuesday] and I’ll be really good that day.”
“Collectively, we’re going to hang in this thing together and get past this point.”
While the decision to sit Metta World Peace for Game 4 is not official, it does seem that Metta believes that doing so would be the best for the team to get a win and extend this series at least one more game.
World Peace is now shooting 25 percent (7-for-28) in the playoffs, while averaging just 6.0 points and 3.7 rebounds in 28 minutes per game. The Lakers will try to avoid a series sweep on Sunday on their home court.
Check out Metta World Peace’s post-game interview.