As the Los Angeles Lakers return home Tuesday night to face the Atlanta Hawks, there are questions surrounding the team. The team isn't playing terribly, but at 16-12 they are a mediocre squad these days, at 5-10 on the road and 7-8 in their last 15 games overall. Now comes word that team chemistry is bad, with Metta World Peace at the center of it.
The former Ron Artest has simply been terrible this season, averaging a career-low 4.7 points on 32.7% shooting, including 11 for 58 (19.0%) from three-point range. He has started the last eight games but still often finds himself at the bench during the fourth quarter, a decision World Peace does not agree with.
"He's always talking about how he should be playing no matter how bad he's shooting, but he can't figure out that when he takes bad shots and misses eight in a row it puts us in a hole," an anonymous Laker told Joe McDonnell of Fox Sports West. McDonnell also reported the team is willing to trade World Peace, though given his contract (two years left after this season) World Peace is nearly untradeable.
World Peace read the article by McDonnell and downplayed the problems in the Lakers' locker room, tweeting, "Don't believe the media. Lakers are fine. Me and coach have great relationship. Once we get use to each other --(wins on wins on wins)." Then, World Peace attacked the messenger:
"Margin of error is a luxury the Lakers are no longer in possession of," wrote C.A. Clark at Silver Screen and Roll. "And as long as the Lakers remain what they are, a middling team struggling to make the playoffs, or if they deteriorate even further, you can expect the chemistry issues to continue to mount."
Tuesday night's 7:30 p.m. PST game will be televised by Fox Sports West. For more Lakers news and information, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.