Los Angeles Lakers: 5 Reasons Mike Brown Is Key to Lakers
At this point, the Los Angeles Lakers look more like a fantasy basketball lineup than an actual team.
They have been thrown together to get the franchise another championship while Kobe Bryant is still in his prime.
The chemistry may take some time given that the starting lineup is composed of guaranteed All-Stars, save for Metta World Peace.
This is why Lakers head coach Mike Brown is crucial to the teams’ chemistry heading into the 2012-2013 NBA season.
Making Firm Decisions
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Yes, it may sound a bit obvious at first, but Mike Brown needs to be the ultimate decision maker. This is a requirement for any head coach, at any level.
But having four All-star-caliber players on the roster not only requires stern decision-making, it downright demands it.
Namely, the guard situation may become a problem in Los Angeles Brown may need to solve.
Unfortunately, only one Laker in the Kobe Bryant era has been able to average more than 8.5 assists per game. Nick Van Exel was the only point guard to do this.
One of two things can happen in this situation.
Either Nash’s assists decline, limiting his best skill, or Bryant has less scoring opportunities. Someone is bound to be dissatisfied.
That is why having Mike Brown make the call not only maintains the egos on the rosters, but can lead to easy compromises that can benefit the team in the long run.
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Mike Brown’s tenure with the Cleveland Cavaliers prepared him for managing big name players.
Of course, his time with LeBron James and the Cavs wasn’t ideal. There were growing pains along the way.
Especially towards the end of his time in Cleveland, things did get shaky, but the first few years showed the extent of how Brown manages egos.
This may prove to be beneficial with Dwight Howard on the roster.
Mike Brown will not have to deal with this himself this time. Maintaining the egos of the younger players will be easier with the veteran leadership on the roster.
The Lakers have veterans Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant, who have had their own share of maturing throughout the years. At this stage in their careers, the two must teach their younger teammates.
Managing Dwight Howard
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Mike Brown has had his share of trouble managing egos, even in his first season as Lakers head coach.
Namely, he had trouble with center Andrew Bynum, who was later sent to Philadelphia in the Dwight Howard trade.
Bynum not only missed the shot, but began to show his frustration with Brown after the benching.
On several occasions, he refused to take part in the huddle and joked with the media about attempting another shot from beyond the arc.
But Andrew Bynum is no longer a Laker, however, the problems at the center position may have gone with him.
Dwight Howard his had his own squabbles with his former coach, Stan Van Gundy. As Howard began demanding a trade from Orlando, he began to criticize management and Van Gundy.
Their relationship became so bad that Van Gundy openly stated that Howard wanted him fired, and had the clout to make this happen, as reported by ESPN.
But that was with an unhappy Dwight Howard. Now that he is a Los Angeles Laker, there is no need for him to complain, which makes Brown’s job less difficult.
Even if Howard will act up in the future, Brown is at least capable of handling it himself given his experience with Andrew Bynum.
Allowing Them to Play
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There were instances last season where Mike Brown made decisions that hindered the team’s progress.
Whether it’s questionable substitutions or unfavorable matchups, Mike Brown does tend to make offensive decisions that leave many scratching their heads.
Brown should know his limits as a coach on offense, since he’s surrounded with arguably the best starting lineup in the NBA.
Just as when he was head coach with Cleveland with LeBron James, Brown should be more of a manager than an actual coach with all the talent surrounding him.
By simply letting arguably the best starting lineup in league highlight their offensive prowess, they can take their talents into the playoffs and possibly to the NBA finals.
Complimentary to the Lakers’ Offensive Skills
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Unlike former Laker coach Phil Jackson, Mike Brown isn’t known for his offensive mastery.
His stint with the Indiana Pacers definitely contributed to the development of the defender formerly known as Ron Artest, now Metta World Peace, and his 2004 Defensive Player of the Year award. Brown was able to show Artest’s defensive potential then, and may do that this season with World Peace.
His time at Cleveland was no different. Brown managed to have the sixth-best defense in the league during his last season at Cleveland, which complimented the offensive explosiveness of LeBron James.
Being surrounded by so many offensive talents in Los Angeles only makes Brown a more valuable asset, as he can implement a defensive scheme that can hide any Laker weakness.
This is especially true given that the acquisition of Steve Nash only fueled worries that the Lakers are not focused on their defense.