Metta World Peace was suppose to be one of the bigger signings for the New York Knicks this off-season. After being and Amnesty Clause victim for the Los Angeles Lakers he was suppose to bring three point shooting, defensive ability and toughness to his home town Knicks. However, he started looking his age as he was slowed by a knee injury that required medical attention. Now that he's healthy will coach Mike Woodson trust the veteran enough to put him back into the rotation?
Metta World Peace always wanted to play for the New York Knicks. In his college days at St. John's he was the brightest young star in New York and couldn't wait to take his talents to Madison Square Garden. However, then Ron Artest, was also a wild man who many thought couldn't control himself if he were to stay in New York. That led to the Knicks passing him up in the draft.
However, this last off-season the Los Angeles Lakers decided to save themselves some money and use the Amnesty Clause to cut World Peace. That led to speculation he'd be making his way home to New York to finally wear a Knicks jersey. That's exactly what happened and the fans were excited about it.
Between Kenyon Martin and World Peace the Knicks would no longer be a team that got picked on or pushed around. New York was tough again. However, World Peace didn't exactly receive consistent playing time before leaving with a knee ailment. That brings into question if he will get a chance to crack Mike Woodson's rotation again or if he'll be relegated to the bench and playing garbage minutes.
Barbara Barker of Newsday reports World Peace is now healthy and ready to re-join his teammates on the floor.
Metta World Peace's left knee is feeling strong again, and he wants to play.
That was the message World Peace had for reporters before Friday night's win. World Peace, who has undergone platelet-rich plasma therapy on his troublesome knee, suited up for the first time since Dec. 27. He said he believed he could help the team, though he wasn't sure his coach would see it that way.
"I'm not sure what his plan is, but I'm ready," World Peace said of Mike Woodson. "I had a pretty good preseason. I had a good start of the season. Real consistently, it didn't translate into playing time."
World Peace use to be a genuine star in the NBA. Those days have passed, as have his days of being the leagues best shut-down defender, but that's not to say that he can no longer play. In fact, his final year with the Lakers was his best in Los Angeles. he can still defend at a higher-than-average level and be a threat from three-point land. If you want to question his toughness you should probably ask Tyler Hansbrough.
Said World Peace: "I could always help. I think I've proved that I could play earlier in the season and preseason. I felt early in the game, there were a lot of games where I could help, especially in the fourth quarter."
As a team that's had their problems finishing games in the second half anyone who could help them late in the game would be a plus. Is World Peace one of those guys? Maybe, but it will take playing time from Woodson to find out.
The problem with that is, the Knicks definitely need to cut down on their rotation. They can't play 12 guys a night. That being said, it will be a lot easier to find World Peace playing time with Martin, Amare Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani all banged up at the moment.
At this point, what does Woodson have to lose? His job is on the line at every moment. In fact, there's very little that could save his job after the season. The writing is pretty much on the wall.
If he wants to change that he'll need to get this team turned around and back to their winning ways. That will take using everything and everything at his disposal. Could World Peace be the thing that helps turn this team around?
The Knicks could certainly use his leadership, experience and defensive ability. That being said, World Peace shouldn't be a player that the entire season is put on. However, he can be a piece to the puzzle even if he isn't the entire puzzle all together.
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