8 big questions from NBA playoffsLoading
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    1) CAN METTA WORLD PEACE SAVE THE LAKERS? Asking the former Ron Artest to provide stability might seem strange, particularly as he returns from his latest trouble with the NBA, a seven-game suspension for elbowing Oklahoma City's James Harden in the head. But the Lakers need someone to provide some defense and a couple of 3-pointers as they head to Game 7 against Denver, making this the perfect time for World Peace to remind us that there is some good to go with his bad.
    Photo caption: Metta World Peace of the Lakers throws an elbow to the back of the head of the Thunder's James Harden in the second quarter. World Peace was ejected for the flagrant foul.
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    4) ARE THERE MORE INJURIES TO COME? There's a lot of hoops left to play, but let's hope not. Injuries (Does Kobe Bryant's stomach bug count?) already did in the Bulls, Magic and Knicks, and are even playing havoc with the U.S. Olympic team. But if you believe the schedule is to blame, keep your eye on the next round: Some teams may have to play on back-to-back days in the postseason, the last remaining obstacle from the compressed schedule.
    Photo caption: The Lakers' Kobe Bryant, ill with a stomach problem, sits on the bench late in Game 6. Denver led 101-73 with 7:52 remaining.
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    7) AFTER AN EXCITING SEASON, WOULD THE NBA SHORTEN THE SEASON PERMANENTLY? Not unless they could figure out how to make 82 games worth of money in 66 games. Commissioner David Stern left the door slightly open this week when he said during a radio show the issue would be raised with owners, but Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver, who will likely run this league in a couple of years, already shot down the idea and figure owners would do the same.
    Photo caption: NBA Commissioner David Stern and Kings co-owner Gavin Maloof during less tense times in 2009.
    José Luis Villegas | Bee file, 2009
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