Lakers: Dwight Howard and MWP Going Opposite Directions, D’Antoni Needs Help

Metta World Peace and Dwight Howard are the two most polarizing Lakers figures in terms of expectations of them this season.

World Peace has exceeded them.  Howard, on the other hand, has been horrible.

The numbers tell an alarming story, and yes, so does a 13-14 start, which puts the Lakers 11th in the Western Conference standings.

Through 27 games this season, World Peace is averaging highs in every category except assists, blocks and turnovers. In his last six games, he is averaging 16.7 points on 50.3 percent shooting and 42.1 percent from deep, 7.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals.  Also, World Peace recorded his first double-double (19 points and a career-high 16 rebounds) in nearly two years.

As for Howard, the 6'11" center is averaging 17.8 points on 57.4-percent shooting, 11.9 rebounds and 2.6 blocks, which are his lowest numbers in the past six seasons.  As horrendous as his free-throw shooting has been (50.9 percent), it’s not his worst.  Last year with the Orlando Magic, he converted free throws at a 49.1-percent clip.

But just how impactful have World Peace and Howard been for the Lakers? 

Using Microsoft Excel, I analyzed World Peace’s and Howard’s impact on the game when each player is in versus when he isn’t.  The numbers were eye-popping.  I reached out to Kelley School of Business analytics professor and author Dr. Wayne Winston, who has consulted for many NBA teams on optimal lineups, to weigh in on my thoughts on World Peace’s impact and Howard’s futility. 


Winston, who most notably worked for the Dallas Mavericks and was a key cog in their championship run, calculates the effectiveness of a player per 48-minute game by taking the raw plus/minus and adjusting it with the other nine players on the court. His analysis also adjusts for the strength of the opponent.
Article Source: Bleacher Report - Los Angeles Lakers