The Los Angeles Lakers will be without two starters when they hit the court later today at the Barclays Center to face the Nets. Both Dwight Howard and Metta World Peace won’t be available for the Purple & Gold against Brooklyn, as “D12″ continues to struggle with pain on his right shoulder, in addition to “MWP” being suspended by the NBA for his altercation with Brandon Knight last Sunday versus the Pistons.
Howard will miss his 3rd consecutive game after aggravating the pain on his shoulder against the Phoenix Suns on January 30th. Dwight suffered a torn labrum on January 4th and has been trying to play through the injury in order to avoid surgery, which would probably cost his season. He told head coach Mike D’Antoni that his shoulder hurts almost as much as it did on Sunday, thus playing would not be the best option in the long run.
World Peace has been suspended for one game without pay for “grabbing Brandon Knight of the Detroit Pistons around the neck and striking him in the jaw”, according to the official press release from the NBA. The altercation happened with 1:43 to go in the 1st half of last Sunday’s contest at the Palace of Auburn Hills, resulting in a “flagrant foul 1″ called against Metta.
It still remains to be seen how will the Lakers’ starting lineup will look like come game time. A simple solution would be inserting Antawn Jamison in place of World Peace, granted that Pau Gasol will remain the center while Howard is out. In the other hand, head coach Mike D’Antoni can decide to go small and play Kobe Bryant at the small forward position, with Jodie Meeks or Steve Blake as the starting shooting guard.
The Lakers will face the Brooklyn Nets at 4:30 P.M. (PDT).