May 8, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers Metta World Peace (right) warms up with coach Darvin Ham before game 5 of the Western Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs against the Denver Nuggets at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

The Impact of Metta World Peace

The Denver Nuggets have taken control of the first-round matchup with the Los Angeles Lakers.

They have dominated the pace of the previous two games, making the Lakers into a running team. However, L.A. is getting some reinforcements as the series returns to the Staples Center.

Metta World Peace is returning from a 6-game suspension in time to either save the Lakers or add to the sinking ship.

Say what you will about World Peace, if the mind is right and the heart is in a good spot he is a force to reckon with. But more than anything him just being on the floor should help the Lakers, who have had to start Devin Ebanks the previous two games. Ebanks had 10 points in Game 1, but has scored only 21 points the rest of the series.

World Peace is shooting below .40 percent from the field and is averaging a career-worst 7.7 points. However, World Peace is still an elite defender, just ask Danilo Gallinari.

In the regular season, Gallinari struggled against the veteran small forward. Shooting less than .30 percent from the field and averaging 10 points. In the postseason, hasn’t been stellar by any means but he has been active – averaging 15.2 points and grabbing 5.5 rebounds.

World Peace will most likely defend Gallinari in Game 7, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see Kobe Bryant defend Ty Lawson since Arron Afflalo hasn’t been the same in the series.

Probably the wild card for the Lakers, is World Peace’s jump shot. He isn’t consistent from long range and the Nuggets have shown that they can make L.A. pay for missing shots. In Game 5, Denver had 30 fast break points.

We probably won’t be seeing a shooting clinic from the Nuggets, like we did in Game 6. Lawson hit his first five shots, and hit 5 of 6 from behind the arc. Andre Miller and Corey Brewer also hit from behind the arc. But if Denver plays with the energy it has the previous two games the Nuggets could be on their way to Oklahoma City.

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Tags: Andre Miller Corey Brewer Danilo Gallinari Denver Nuggets Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Metta World Peace Oklahoma City Thunder Ty Lawson

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