Once again, Mike Brown has been fired as a head coach for a team not meeting expectations. Once again, Mike Brown has been made the scapegoat for bigger problems.
Yes, the Lakers started out 1-4 and were winless in the preseason. They looked listless against Utah and you had to wonder how much longer it could take before things get better.
But if you believe Brown was the only problem, take a closer look at this team.
Steve Nash's injury will hurt this team regardless of who coaches it. The Lakers don't have anybody who can create their own shot besides Kobe Bryant and Steve Blake is not the best playmaker at this stage in his career. It's basically the same team from last year with Dwight Howard being a more active, consistent version of Andrew Bynum.
With all the talk of the Princeton offense being a bad fit—something I agreed with after they got Steve Nash—the biggest problem I've seen has been defense. The Lakers have allowed teams with decent shooting and solid point guards to take them apart. That has nothing to do with offense but lack of desire and commitment.
Perhaps Brown couldn't motivate the team anymore. Perhaps he didn't play Jodie Meeks enough as the Lakers' best perimeter option off the bench.
But the Lakers have never been this quick to pull the trigger on a coach. Patience has been a hallmark of the Buss ownership era.
Most of us questioned Brown being hired in 2011 mainly because Brian Shaw was the more logical fit. It seemed like Jim Buss wanted to hire Brown simply because he wasn't connected to Phil Jackson. I'll also state for the record that the firing should reflect on Jim Buss admitting he made a mistake out of his arrogance.
I understand the Lakers wanting to win right now. I'm not surprised that Mike Brown was clipped considering the public pressure from fans who feel the sky is falling and have the desire to win now.
Yet the Lakers' biggest problem remains. How do they make the most of this personnel that's banged up and needs an offensive creator while Nash recovers?
Brown might have been the easiest target but fixing the team will require more than changing the caretaker.
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