When the New York Knicks acquired Metta World Peace back on July 15th most around the NBA applauded the move, with the conventional wisdom being that the artist formerly known as Ron Artest would help boosts New York’s middling defense.
While that is still likely the case, it is clear that after only two games, Metta World Peace needs to understand why the New York Knicks were so eager to bring the Queens Bridge native to Madison Square Garden in the first place.
After being dispatched in the Eastern Conference semi finals by a bigger and stronger Indiana Pacers team, the Knicks knew that somehow they had to bolster their front line if they were to expect a different result in 2014.
Initially the prospects looked bleak, as the Knicks were operating in a very tight corner financially. But due to Dwight Howard‘s constant waffling on whether or not he would return to L.A., the Lakers were forced to amnesty World Peace to make room for Dwight’s big new shiny contract, or in a worse case scenario, to clear the decks moving forward in an effort to expedite the rebuilding process.
In the end the Knicks were able to scoop up the hometown favorite for the veterans minimum – a deal that still has the chance to be one of the best acquisitions of the summer. That is of course, if World Peace can just play to his strengths.
The Blueprint for Metta’s success in New York is simple:
1. Defend the oppositions best forwards
2. Scare opponents with your trademark unpredictability (Wild Card Factor)
3. Hit the OPEN three pointer
4. Hit open shots around the basket.
You know what we do not see in Metta’s blueprint for success? Trying to create from 20 feet away, ultimately ending in Metta chucking up an awkward, off-balance, and ill-timed shot.
Obviously two games is a small sample size, but if you have watched World Peace play throughout his career, you are well aware that Metta’s achilles heel is taking bad shots at what often seem like the worst possible time.
Keeping that in mind let’s take a look at Metta’s shot chart through the first two games.
While this is only two games worth of bricks, this shot chart encapsulates Metta World Peace’s offensive game to a T.
Metta is very effective at hitting the open three, and operating close to the basket, anything in-between is a disaster which more often than not leads to plays like this:
I don’t want to pile on Metta after just two games, but based on his history this is something that Mike Woodson would be better served getting control of right now.
The bottom line is that the Knicks have too many good shooters for Metta to be going 3-11 in any game. If he sticks to what he does best World Peace will help this team a lot, on the other hand if he sticks to hoisting up contested eighteen footers the only thing Metta will help with is sinking this teams chances to take a step forward in 2014.