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Los Angeles Lakers: 10 Different Lineups Mike Brown Should Consider Using

Nathan TannerContributor IIIOctober 18, 2016

Los Angeles Lakers: 10 Different Lineups Mike Brown Should Consider Using

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    After a failed three-peat run last year, the Lakers will enter the new season with a near identical roster and a brand new coach—Mike Brown.

    As coach of the Cavaliers, Brown was known as a defensive specialist and was often criticized for his offense—what I like to call the “give-the-ball-to-LeBron-and-have-everyone-else-stand-around offense.”

    Some have said that the Lakers need to shake up their roster if they want to compete for a championship. Others, including Brown and the Lakers management, have said that the roster is fine as is.

    Here are 10 different lineups that Mike Brown should consider using. Not all of them are starting lineups, but lineups the Lakers could use at certain points of the game.

    The first five lineups assume that the Lakers do not make any changes to their current roster.

    The last five assume various trades or free agent signings.

Honorable Mention: The “Has Been/Never Was” Lineup

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    PG: Derek Fisher

    SG: Trey Johnson

    SF: Luke Walton

    PF: Joe Smith

    C: Theo Ratliff

    I hesitated assembling this lineup because it is almost a mockery to include Derek Fisher.

    The saddest thing about this lineup is that Trey Johnson might be the best guy and he has played a grand total of 108 NBA minutes.

    If the Lakers were to put this group on the floor, it could be the worst lineup to ever set foot on an NBA court.

    On the other hand, if the Lakers played these guys, it would be the only chance Luke Walton would get playing time next season.

1. Last Year’s Starting Lineup

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    PG: Derek Fisher

    SG: Kobe Bryant

    SF: Ron Artest

    PF: Pau Gasol

    C: Andrew Bynum

    These five players made up the Lakers starting lineup for most of last season. Even with Brown at the help this is still a potential lineup.

    Artest and Fisher are not the players they used to be and as Kobe gets older he will probably need more assistance in the backcourt.

    If this is the team’s starting lineup on opening night, the Lakers are in trouble.

2. Last Year’s Best Lineup

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    PG: Derek Fisher

    SG: Kobe Bryant

    SF: Lamar Odom

    PF: Pau Gasol

    C: Andrew Bynum

    This one is the same as last year’s starting lineup, but has Odom starting at small forward in place of Artest.

    In my opinion, this was the Lakers’ best lineup and this was the group that they often closed games with. Replacing Artest with Odom provides greater athleticism, passing and scoring.

3. Going Small Lineup

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    PG: Shannon Brown (currently a free agent)

    SG: Kobe Bryant

    SF: Ron Artest

    PF: Lamar Odom

    C: Pau Gasol

    At the end of games, the Lakers often sat Bynum and finished with Gasol at the center position. I think Mike Brown would be wise to use a similar lineup but have Shannon Brown play point guard in place of Fisher.

    Brown may not be the best passer, but Odom and Kobe should be able to handle distributing the ball.

    Defensively, Brown would guard speedier point guards and allow Kobe to defend the other team’s two-guard.

4. Run and Gun Lineup

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    PG: Darius Morris

    SG: Shannon Brown (currently a free agent)

    SF: Matt Barnes

    PF: Lamar Odom

    C: Pau Gasol

    Kobe’s minutes will be reduced during the upcoming season. What should the Lakers do if they don’t have their premier scorer on the court?

    Run and gun. This is the perfect lineup to use in the third quarter while Kobe and Bynum are getting their rest.

    Although unproven, Darius Morris is a true point guard and can get his teammates the ball. Brown is an excellent dunker and Barnes is a strong transition player.

5. The New Starting Lineup?

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    PG: Steve Blake

    SG: Kobe Bryant

    SF: Ron Artest

    PF: Pau Gasol

    C: Andrew Bynum

    If I were to predict the Lakers’ starting lineup for next season—assuming there are no major trades or free agent signings—this would be it.

    Although Blake was incredibly disappointing this past year, I think that had more to do with the triangle offense than his ability to play point guard.

    In a more conventional offense, Blake will regain his confidence and have a rebound season.

    Don’t be surprised if Artest has a better year now that he doesn’t have to play in the triangle and won’t have Phil Jackson yelling at him.

6. Monta Ellis Lineup

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    PG: Monta Ellis

    SG: Kobe Bryant

    SF: Ron Artest

    PF: Pau Gasol

    C: Andrew Bynum

    If Monta Ellis is traded to the Lakers—which is a very big “if”—this is the starting lineup Brown should consider playing.

    Although he probably isn’t a perfect fit in the Lakers system, a deal for Ellis would address the Lakers’ point guard issues.

    Ellis is not much of a facilitator, so Kobe would have to take on that role. At the end of the day, I highly doubt the Lakers would trade for Ellis, but his addition to the lineup is very intriguing.

7. JR Smith and Aaron Brooks Lineup

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    PG: Aaron Brooks

    SG: JR Smith

    SF: Kobe Bryant

    PF: Lamar Odom

    C: Pau Gasol

    Of course, this lineup is only possible if the Lakers were to find a way to sign both Aaron Brooks and JR Smith.

    With Brooks running the point and Smith at the three-point line, teams would not be allowed to double team Kobe or Gasol and the offense would flourish.

    This lineup would have no problem putting points on the board.

8. Chris Paul Lineup

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    PG: Chris Paul

    SG: Kobe Bryant

    SF: Ron Artest

    PF: Lamar Odom

    C: Pau Gasol

    I love this lineup. If the Lakers were able to reel in Chris Paul, even if it meant giving up Bynum and another player, I think they should go for it.

    Paul is an elite point guard and is the sole reason the Hornets gave the Lakers trouble in the first round of the playoffs.

    He could immediately help the Lakers compete for a title.

9. Wilson Chandler and Ty Lawson Lineup

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    PG: Ty Lawson

    SG: Kobe Bryant

    SF: Wilson Chandler

    PF: Pau Gasol

    C: Andrew Bynum

    The additions of Wilson Chandler and Ty Lawson would greatly improve the team and fill in their weaknesses.

    Lawson just finished his second year in the NBA and is oozing with talent. He shoots over 50 percent from the field, knocks down threes and penetrates the lane.

    Chandler is a great all-around player who gets better every season. He has the potential to be a defensive stopper and would bring a lot of athleticism to a Laker team that looks slow.

    To get Lawson and Chandler, the Lakers would probably have to give up Odom and a few other pieces.

10. Dwight Howard Lineup

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    PG: Steve Blake

    SG: Kobe Bryant

    SF: Ron Artest

    PF: Lamar Odom

    C: Dwight Howard

    This lineup assumes that Dwight Howard is traded to Los Angeles and Gasol and Bynum are sent to Orlando.

    The addition of Howard and the defensive focus of Brown would make the Lakers one of the best defensive teams in the NBA.

    The glaring weakness in this lineup is Blake, but as I mentioned earlier, I think he will have a much better year.

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