Los Angeles Lakers v Boston Celtics

Metta World Peace to play, come off bench; Kobe’s minutes to be decreased


Metta World Peace is a warrior. Or maybe not human. Because this is pretty insane.

As we told you Monday, twelve days after surgery on his left knee to repair a torn meniscus World Peace will be back on the court for the Lakers Tuesday against New Orleans, Mike D’Antoni confirmed to reporters including Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times.

World Peace will not start, but he will come off the bench.

And that could help reduce Kobe Bryant’s minutes load D’Antoni said — Kobe has averaged more than 46 minutes a game in the Lakers last four games. And it shows. At the end of both the Memphis game (a Lakers win) and the Clippers (a Lakers loss) Kobe looked tired and wasn’t executing well at either end of the floor. He’s as well conditioned an athlete as there is in the NBA but even Kobe needs some rest, some time on the bench.

It matters a lot for a Lakers team that has no margin for error left — they likely need to go 4-1 or 5-0 their last five to make the playoffs, including winning both ends of a back-to-back Tuesday and Wednesday.

Steve Nash was again ruled out for the Lakers.

Greg Smith fails physical, will not join Pelicans

Greg Smith
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With both starter Omer Asik and backup Alexis Ajinca out injured for the rest of the preseason (and maybe a little longer), the Pelicans are looking for a center to put next to Anthony Davis for a stretch. That could include a handful of regular season games.

Greg Smith was going to be that man, but the 24-year-old failed his physical, reports the Times-Picayune.

The New Orleans Pelicans were set to sign power forward Greg Smith, but sources said Friday night that he failed his physical examination and will not be joining the team.

And so the search goes on.

The problem is, there are not quality big men still out there on the market, there is a limited supply and just about anyone worth having is spoken for. A few with non-guaranteed contracts may be waived as we get closer to the end of training camps, but that is likely a couple of weeks away.

With both Asik and Ajinca expected back in a few weeks, it’s not worth making a trade or some big move to bring in a center, the Pelicans are just going to have to live with what is out there.

Kevin Durant with huge dunk on visiting Fenerbahce Ulker

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Welcome to America, Fenerbahce Ulker.

The Turkish powerhouse was in America playing some exhibition games this preseason, and they got a first-hand reminder that Kevin Durant is back. KD had 13 points in the Thunder’s easy 111-81 win.

Not to be outdone, Russell Westbrook got in on the act.