Metta World Peace will miss at least 6 weeks, will need surgery to repair torn cartilage in left knee.— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) March 27, 2013
After being a major disappointment in his first three seasons in L.A., World Peace finally found a groove in head coach Mike D'Antoni's up-tempo offense. Prior to his injury, he was averaging 12.8 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.7 steals while shooting nearly 35 percent from long range.
With him out, the Lakers can now turn to veteran forward Antawn Jamison to fill most of his minutes. Jamison is a few years older than World Peace, but has proven on several occasions that he can step up his offensive production when necessary.
He's only averaging 9.2 points and 4.8 rebounds over 21.6 minutes per game, but Jamison has still managed to shoot 47 percent from the field and 35 percent from the floor. Moreover, he has been effective over his last five games.
Through that stretch, the former Tar Heel has posted 12.6 points and 5.8 rebounds while making 48 percent of his attempts and 52 percent of his threes.
Thus, it's going to be interesting to see how well the Lakers adjust without World Peace in the lineup. Jamison isn't as good an on-ball defender, but is a more reliable and versatile scorer. In D'Antoni's offense, that is key.
Los Angeles has a lot of work to do to stay in the playoff race, what with losing three straight, and the lack of World Peace's difference may, in fact, loom large.