This is the fourth in a series of posts awarding midseason grades to some members of the Lakers.
Player: Metta World Peace
How he performed: Averaging a career-low 4.9 points per game on 33.5% shooting and 23.9% from three-point range. Synergy Sports Technology ranks him 137th overall in total defense.
Good: The Lakers' 96-91 victory Jan. 25 against the Clippers provided everything the purple and gold want in World Peace. He tangled with Blake Griffin for a loose ball and made two steals. His only points came off a key three-pointer that put the game away in the final minutes. His five rebounds and seven assists in a season-high 38 minutes off the bench epitomized his hustle. In recent weeks, World Peace has appeared in better shape and played solid defense against Paul Pierce, Joe Johnson and Vince Carter. If he builds on these performances, World Peace could become valuable.
Bad: Unfortunately for the Lakers, World Peace hasn't offered much. It all started poorly when he arrived at training camp out of shape. Aside from a few games operating well in the post, World Peace has offered little bench leadership. Although his criticism over Mike Brown's inconsistent rotations is valid, World Peace's accusation that Brown is just a "stats guy" reveals his delusional attitude toward his poor play. Even though World Peace has shown spurts of lockdown defense, it hasn't been consistent enough to justify his presence.
World Peace's weaknesses in previous seasons pointed to his never-ending struggles with the triangle offense. But with Brown's corner offense, the issues remain the same. The bad part for the Lakers: World Peace's play continues to decline.