Thursday, November 8, 2012

Rough Start

Blog by Haz Bey
This was the year that put the Lakers back on the map.  Trading away Andrew Bynum, but gaining Steve Nash & Dwight Howard over the offseason made the Lakers instant contenders, well on paper.  Now after a 1-4 start to the NBA season, the Lakers are in unfamiliar territory, struggling to get wins.  What is to blame for the Lakers' rough start?  

The Los Angeles Lakers had key injuries to 3 of their 5 starters since training camp.  Dwight  Howard is still recovering from back surgery from last April and missed 6 of 8 preseason games.  Kobe Bryant has been sideline from many practices of late due to ailments to his right foot suffered in the preseason.  Steve Nash has a small fracture on his left leg and he has missed the last 3 games.  Bottom line is that the Lakers has not yet to build the chemistry needed to compete at a high level, because their starters have not played with each other too often this season.

The bench is playing at a low level to say the least.  The Lakers brought in Antwan Jamison & the sharp shooting Jodie Meeks to give the Lakers the scoring punch they need to allow the starters to get the rest they need to finish games night-in & night-out with plenty of energy down the stretch, but the two offseason free agent signees cannot find their way on the court under Mike Brown's Princeton Offense overseen by Eddie Jordan.  The Laker bench is out scored on a nightly basis by an significant number by the opposition.  Which causes Mike Brown to play his "aging" starters more than he wants to.

The Princeton Offense brought in by Lakers assistant coach Eddie Jordan, is an offense designed to move the basketball quickly with quick cuts and back screens for offenses that do not possess elite scoring threats.  The problem is the Lakers have 6 veterans that are accustomed to scoring at an high level and at one time in all their careers they have been their teams number 1 option (Bryant, Howard, Gasol, Nash, Jamison & World Peace).  The Princeton has not won any NBA or NCAA titles.  It does not utilize the Lakers' scoring threats best abilities.  So why run it?   Steve Nash is one of the best point guards of not just the league, but one of the best of all time.  I would trust him to run the offense the way he wants more so then an offense ran by Eddie Jordan.  Have you seen that man's track record as a head coach?  Seriously, we do not even have to go there.  Steve Nash with the ball in his hands creating for others is the key offensively for the Lakers to go all the way 
this season.  It would be nice for Mike Brown to check his ego and scrap the Princeton Offense and and hand the keys to the offense to Steve Nash and let him pick & roll teams to death. 

The Lakers are turning ball over way too much offensively, moving too slow defensively & are being out hustled by by their opponents.  Simple solutions to all of the above.  When Steve Nash comes back from his leg injury, put the ball in his hands Mike Brown.  Not only will the Lakers cut the turnovers down, teams won't have as many fast break opportunities and the Lakers will have their defense set.  We all know teams want to get out on the Lakers and run.  The Lakers are older and slower than most teams, so it is a key to get easy scoring opportunities against them.   Now if the Lakers can keep teams from running on them, then they will have more energy to challenge the loose balls and battle on the 

Mike Brown is a very accomplished coach in this league.  An NBA Finals appearance, had the best record in the league for 2 straight seasons & a Coach of the Year Award while coaching the LeBron James led Cleveland Cavaliers.  So Mike Brown is no scrub, but with the Lakers' franchise, it is Championship or bust.  Pat Riley & Phil Jackson are two of the best coaches in of all time in any sport.  They know how to get elite talent to play together for a common goal.  That is not easy to do in American pro sports.  You have major contracts, endorsements, entourages, groupies & their own egos that good players deal with, but to get them to focused on the team goal is an special skill to have.  Riley & Jackson possess that skill.  I am not sure Mike Brown has those types of capabilities.  Kobe seems to be more fearful from his teammates then Mike Brown is.  Kobe's credentials speak for themselves.  So as member of the Lakers who would you rather trust?  Don't answer that.  Mike Brown has been fired and now the Los Angeles Lakers can find the right coach to bring this talented roster to the "Promise Land".

The Los Angeles Lakers has proven to everyone on the planet that winning is everything by shedding off some dead weight.  Just remember that their is a man with 11 championship rings that dates the boss' daughter.  If the Larry O'Brien Trophy is to return to Hollywood, someone better make that man an offer he can't refuse. 

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