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Credit head coach Mike Brown for realizing that unless there was a renewed commitment on the defensive end, this Lakers team wouldn't experience much success in 2012.
Faced with an aging roster severely lacking in offensive firepower, the arrival of Brown seems to have coincided with an infusion of some much-needed toughness and grit in Los Angeles.
The Lakers rank fourth overall in the NBA in points allowed (90.0 points per game) and first in the Western Conference—nearly a five-point improvement over last season.
When Brown was introduced as the Lakers' new head coach this past summer, he talked about a defense built around three principles:
1. Shrink the floor by not giving up anything easy in the paint;
2. Don't give up middle drives because there are too many outlets;
3. Get multiple efforts to finish with a shot contest (giving up on a play is never an option).
The Lakers seemed to have grasped these concepts and are able to win games in the 90s as a result.