The Los Angeles Lakers are off to a pitiful 1-3 start, and much of the blame is being foisted upon coach Mike Brown’s shoulders.
Whether or not you think that he is a fair scapegoat for the team’s troubles, it’s simply the way it is and rumors abound that Brown might soon be in the unemployment line. There are plenty of able coaches who would jump at a chance to take control of this team, and there’s a good probability that one eventually will if Brown doesn’t turn things around in a hurry.
In fact, there is one league source (via Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld) that is indicating that Brown will be gone by December 1 and Hall of Famer Jerry Sloan will come out of retirement to take his job.
Fortunately, most of L.A.’s problems stem from its lack of bench support, poor rebounding and turnover issues. The offensive woes are almost exclusively tied to the pine, but there are still some changes Brown could make to better the scoring in Hollywood..
Let’s take a look at some alterations that the current bench boss should consider for the offense in order to get back to .500 and maybe even start a winning streak.
The Black Mamba is absolutely on fire and needs to get the rock, especially with Steve Nash out of the lineup for another week with an injury.
Bryant is rejuvenated with Dwight Howard’s presence in the middle and has been lighting it up—averaging 26.8 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game this season.
As long as Bryant is getting his touches and making things happen with them—and not forcing up bad shots—things are going to turn around quickly in L.A.
Dump it to Dwight
Howard’s been another offensive beast for the Lakers, averaging 23.3 points in his 35.8 minutes per game.
We think that number could be even higher if the Lakers can figure out a way to run some sort of two-man game with Kobe and DH12. While Gasol is the odd man out here, his prowess would perhaps better be used as a facilitator in the post and a lethal option when Dwight draws a double.
Eventually, the scoring load is going to be more evenly distributed, but until Nash returns, it’s time to lean heavily on Howard and Bryant.
Perhaps no one has said it better than Kobe, who is getting plain sick and tired of dealing with overreactions to the team’s early struggles. He knows it isn’t Coach Brown’s fault.
The exasperated shooting guard vented to Lisa Dillman of The Los Angeles Times:
“Now you have Mike Brown telling everybody to be patient,” Bryant said. “Back then, it was Phil Jackson telling everybody to shut up."
He also understands that Brown’s voice doesn’t carry the same weight as former coach Jackson, as he has yet to win a ring. So Bryant has taken it upon himself to be the spokesman of the team and is asking for some space, explaining:
“Because I’ve won…I can,” Bryant said. “Mike, it would be a little tougher for him to say that. So I’ll say it for him: Everybody shut up. Let us work.”
Don’t sleep on the Lakers turning it around sooner than later, as they get back to work on Wednesday night against the Utah Jazz.