If you haven't already heard the news, it looks like Metta World Peace is out for six weeks due to a torn lateral meniscus.
Artest may not be the star player he once was, but he has been one of the only consistent players for an otherwise dysfunctional team this season. He is averaging 12.8 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.7 steals a game, and he is also shooting 35 percent from behind the arc. Again, not amazing, but much better than either of the previous two seasons.
So, now the Lakers are without Jordan Hill and World Peace for the remainder of the regular season (at least). They aren't Kobe Bryant, Nash or Howard, but it might just be enough for the Lakers to lose one or two extra games down the stretch. After all, one or two extra losses could be the difference between the 14th and 30th pick for us.
Now that Hill and Artest are out, and Earl Clark will be inserted back into the starting lineup, L.A has a weak bench. Jodie Meeks and Antawn Jamison are the team's last two remaining decent bench players, unless you're that fond of Steve Blake, Chris Duhon, Darius Morris or Devin Ebanks.
An extremely weak bench isn't going to help an old team like the Lakers, and Nash, Kobe and Gasol could start feeling the effects of fatigue in the last few games. On top of that, if any of their major players suffer an injury, L.A may be done for good.
What do you think? Could this possibly be the difference between the Lakers making/missing the playoffs?