Mike Brown Hired as Los Angeles Lakers Head Coach: What It Means for the Team

Jim MancariCorrespondent IMay 25, 2011

Mike Brown Hired as Los Angeles Lakers Head Coach: What It Means for the Team

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    CLEVELAND - MAY 01: Head coach Mike Brown of the Cleveland Cavaliers calls out instructions while playing the Boston Celtics during Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena on May 1, 2010 in Clevela
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Though Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Brian Shaw appeared to be the favorite to replace the legendary Phil Jackson, the Lakers instead agreed to a four-year, $18.25 million deal with former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Mike Brown.

    Brown brings playoff and NBA Finals experience to the Lakers, who will look to rebound after an early playoff exit this year at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks.

    While Brown’s philosophy differs from that of Jackson, the Lakers could benefit from a new approach.

    Here are five reasons why this a good move.

5. Veteran Coach for Veteran Players

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    CHICAGO - APRIL 25: Head coach Mike Brown of the Cleveland Cavaliers talks with referee Bennett Salvatore #15 as a member of the Chicago Bulls shoots a free-throw in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at the Uni
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    The Lakers are one of the older teams in the NBA.

    However, they also have players who have tons of postseason experience and who have won multiple NBA titles.

    Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, Ron Artest and Derek Fisher are just a few of these experienced players.

    Bringing in the experienced Mike Brown will allow for a faster transition period in getting everyone on the same page.

    The players can look at what Brown accomplished in Cleveland to realize that he knows what he’s doing on the court.

4. Stresses Defense

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    BOSTON - MAY 13:  Head coach Mike Brown of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts to a call against one of his players in the first half against the Boston Celtics during Game Six of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2010 NBA playoffs at TD Garden on May 1
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Mike Brown is a defensive-minded coach.

    The Lakers looked lost defensively in their recent series against the Mavericks, so improvement will be needed.

    Though the Lakers did rank fifth in field-goal percentage allowed, it was the lapses in focus that forced Jerry West to call out the team. It worked for a while, but the Lakers faltered in the playoffs, allowing a 47.2 percent field goal percentage, according to Sean Deveney of The Sporting News.

    Brown inherited a Cavaliers team that wasn’t exactly a defensive stalwart, and by his fourth year, the team was first in lowest points allowed and field goal percentage against per game.

    Brown would first employ his defensive strategies in getting the Lakers back to the Finals.

3. Offense Is Important Too

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    ORLANDO, FL - MAY 30:  Head coach Mike Brown of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks on from the sidelines against the Orlando Magic in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2009 Playoffs at Amway Arena on May 30, 2009 in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO
    Elsa/Getty Images

    While Mike Brown stresses defense, his teams have also been strong offensively.

    Of course, having LeBron James helped, but just because Brown focuses on defense doesn’t mean offense goes out the window.

    The Lakers have plenty of weapons who can score the basketball, so that shouldn’t be a problem.

    A strong defense coupled with a consistent offense may be the long-term mark of Brown’s tenure in Los Angeles.

2. He Has Coached a Superstar

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    EL SEGUNDO, CA - MAY 11:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers speaks during a news conference at the Lakers training facility on May 11, 2011 in El Segundo, California. The Lakers were swept out of their best of seven series with the Dallas Maverick
    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    Mike Brown learned how to handle a superstar through coaching LeBron James.

    This experience will be vital in forming a relationship with Kobe Bryant.

    Bryant has been known to have disputes with Phil Jackson on occasion. However, Brown is said to be very personable and approachable.

    As Sean Deveney proposed, Bryant likely wouldn’t object to Brown’s strategy of improving the team’s defense.

    Though rumors about Brown and James not seeing eye-to-eye might have been a reason he was fired in Cleveland, Brown still showed he can handle a superstar.

1. A Good Overall Fit

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    CHICAGO - APRIL 22: Head coach Mike Brown of the Cleveland Cavaliers yells at players on the bench as the Cavaliers face the Chicago Bulls in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at the United Center on April 22,
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    The Lakers have all the pieces in place to make a deep postseason run next year, and they added the icing on the cake in the hiring of Mike Brown.

    Phil Jackson is arguably the best coach in the history of the game, but the Lakers needed a change of scenery after their poor finish this season. The team appears ready to move on from the triangle offense.

    Brown is a former NBA Coach of the Year whose defensive prowess can do wonders for the Lakers.

    We’ll see how this works out, but it looks like it could be a great move.

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