Why Metta World Peace Deserves a Starting Spot with the New York Knicks

Zach GewelbCorrespondent IIOctober 23, 2013

TORONTO, CANADA - OCTOBER 21: Metta World Peace
Ron Turenne/Getty Images

Metta World Peace has done more than enough for the New York Knicks this preseason to earn a spot in Mike Woodson’s starting lineup.

He brings defense, toughness and a championship pedigree to New Yorkall things that the Knicks need if they plan on taking the next step and competing for an NBA Championship.

And let’s not forget Mike Woodson seems to love World Peace so far, via ESPNNewYork.com’s Ian Begley:

I'm impressed with everything he's done, the coach said. He's a guy that we had to make take a day off and [make him sit out] a game. Because he's here early and he's 'go go go.' I like that in him. 

Woodson also cited World Peace’s well-rounded game as a positive, saying that he is “a tough kid and there's nothing he can't do on the basketball floor." 

Tough is the perfect word to describe the former Laker, as he has already added that element to the Knicks, which can be seen in the video below (sorry, Tyler Hansbrough).

Just the presence of World Peace on the floor has turned the Knicks into a tougher team. However, his defense and three-point shooting will help make New York one of the best teams in the league.

Even at age 33, World Peace still has the ability to defend the way he did in his prime, which you can see below when he squared off against Kevin Durant

While World Peace will not be asked to lead New York’s offense, he remains a viable option behind ‘Melo, J.R. Smith and company. He averaged 12.4 points per game last season, and that number should remain consistent if he starts.

World Peace’s biggest contribution on offense will likely be his three-point shooting. The ex-champion is a career 34.2 percent shooter, which fits in well with what New York tries to doas a team, the Knicks tied the San Antonio Spurs for fourth in the league at 37.6 percent, via ESPN.com.

World Peace’s influence on the Knicks can even be felt in practice, where he has routinely faced off against Carmelo Anthony to help ‘Melo improve, via Peter Botte of the New York Daily News:

Metta World Peace has been matched up against Carmelo Anthony in practice for much of his first training camp with the Knicks, and the last thing the veteran forward says he’ll do is take it easy on the NBA’s reigning scoring champion.

And according to a tweet from Begley, ‘Melo has been challenged in practice more than he is normally accustomed to:

World Peace’s championship pedigree should be the determining factor for Mike Woodson when deciding who to start. World Peace is a team player who knows how to win and is willing to do anything to help his teammates, via K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.

"I’m excited to hustle for (Raymond) Felton, for Iman (Shumpert), for Tyson (Chandler), 'Melo, (Amare) Stoudemire, Coach (Mike Woodson)," World Peace said. "That’s all it’s about right now. It has nothing to do with New York or the city. It’s all about the players."

Toughness, defense, three-point shooting and a championship pedigree. What coach does not want that in his starting lineup?

Not only does World Peace have all those qualities, he has also been a great teammate and has helped players like ‘Melo improve. Mike Woodson needs to start Metta World Peace this season.