NBA: The key to Lakers title hopes - Metta World Peace

Artest World Peace

The rich get richer. A saying the Los Angeles Lakers have proven true again and again.

Mitch Kupchack pulled of the coup of the summer by signing PG Steve Nash and C Dwight Howard. The Lakers are back in title contention and they're back with a bang.

With a team including Nash and Howard, Metta World Peace, Pau Gasol, Kobe Bryant and a solid bench, a lot is expected from this team and for good reason. However the pressure should only be on one man and he welcomes it, Metta World Peace is the key to the Lakers title hopes.

When Peace first arrived in 2009, he welcomed the pressure and blame if the Lakers had failed to repeat as champions but that wasn't to be. Armed with a solid 2009-2010 regular season, the formally known Ron Artest led the LA Lakers to back to back championships following an emphatic game 7 performance with 20 points, 5 steals and 5 rebounds.

Phil Jackson called him the MVP of Game 7. The Lakers are going to need another similar season from World Peace.

With the additions of Nash and Howard, World Peace's shooting and game in general will improve. Steve Nash's unique eye for a pass should give Peace plenty of looks and Howard's fantastic rebounding rate will give World Peace more second chance looks at the basket.

But it's up to World Peace to thrive on the plays of his team mates and make the Lakers legendary this year.

World Peace's shooting last season was dismal, averaging 39% from the field and 30% from behind the three point line. That will need to improve. His attitude and demeanour will need to vastly improve after last seasons incident involving James Harden.

We can all put our money on Gasol, Nash, Howard and Kobe to succeed and thrive on each others play but it will be Metta World Peace who will effect how long the Lakers season will last this year.

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