NBA Playoffs 2012: Should the Lakers Tank a Game to Wait for Metta World Peace?

With Metta World Peace set to miss the next four games due to suspension, there’s talk of whether or not the Los Angeles Lakers should tank one game in order to get him back for round two. 

The Lakers have looked strong against the Denver Nuggets, with a two-game lead heading into Denver for Game 3 on Friday.

The Dallas Mavericks have blown the first three games of their series, and it’s looking like the Lakers will play the Oklahoma City Thunder in the second round. This means Metta’s defense will be crucial.

Even if the Mavericks are able to come back from being down three games, it would still be great to have Metta on the floor from the beginning.

One factor to keep in mind is that MWP may need a game or two to fall back into rhythm with the team. While he’s been tweeting about how much he works out, that means little in the way of how he’ll perform after a long break.

With all of this in mind, should the Lakers tank a game in the Denver series to get Metta for the whole second round?

Absolutely not.

There are some compelling reasons for the Lakers to throw a game and wait for Metta, but there’s one factor that should deter them from it: momentum.

They’re riding a pretty big wave of momentum in this series so far. If they’re able to sweep the Nuggets, which is looking like a real possibility, the team will get some rest and carry this momentum into the second round.

It's also risky to lose a game and possibly shift momentum just to wait for one player. 

If the Lakers were able to win without Kobe, they can surely make it now. While Metta had been an integral part of recent wins, the first two games of this Denver series have shown that the Lakers can win without him.

That’s not to say that they don’t need...

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