In hopes to improve an inconsistent bench, Lakers Coach Mike Brown plans to give minutes to Metta World Peace at the backup shooting guard spot.
Brown also experimented with the lineup in the Lakers’ 108-79 win Sunday over the Detroit Pistons, featuring Darius Morris (point guard), Antawn Jamison (small forward), Jordan Hill (power forward), Dwight Howard (center) and World Peace (shooting guard). During their three-minute run in the second quarter, the unit extended the lead from 18 to 21 points.
“It adds a defensive presence on the perimeter,” Lakers guard Kobe Bryant said of the lineup change. “Metta’s intensity really changes the momentum of the game. He’s able to get out there and get deflections and get steals. He brings a physicality with that second group.”
The second group has hardly brought anything through four games.
Among the NBA’s 30 teams, the Lakers bench rank 29th in points per game (18.8). Backup shooting guards Devin Ebanks (2.3 points on 18.2 percent shooting in 11.3 minutes per game) and Jodie Meeks (two points on 28.6 percent shooting in 7.3 minutes per game) haven’t given Brown much confidence. Meanwhile, Bryant has averaged 26.8 points on 60 percent shooting in 37 minutes.
To improve those numbers, Brown plans to play World Peace between 34-36 minutes per game between both his starting small forward and backup shooting guard positions. World Peace has averaged 9.8 points on 44.4 percent shooting in 34.6 minutes per contest, and has impressed the team with his superior conditioning.
“He’s in shape and I think he can play those type of minutes,” Brown said of World Peace.
“He has to understand that he was the recipient of other guys getting paid attention to. Most of his shots, he didn’t create.”
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