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Brown thinking more Gasol and Bynum, less Kobe for Lakers

Sep 16, 2011, 5:27 PM EDT

Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles Lakers, Game 5 Getty Images

Mike Brown wants what Phil Jackson wanted — the offense to run through the post. Not a Kobe Bryant isolation play or him coming off a high pick, but Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum as the hubs of the offense, standing at the high and low block.

Will Kobe buy into it?

Well, does he want to win?

Brown sat down for lunch with Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register and — while the lockout prevented him from talking about players — he reiterated that he wants the Lakers offense to go through their big men. Brown’s Lakers offense is going to look nothing like the LeBron James centered offense Brown had with the Cavaliers.

And whether you want to read a lot or a little into it, note this: When talking about the contrasting offensive styles Brown will show from Cleveland to here, the new Lakers’ coach summarized the coming Lakers offense as feeding Gasol and Bynum inside, not being the Kobe show.

“This team is completely different from what I had in Cleveland,” Brown said. “In Cleveland, I had a guy who liked to come off the top of the floor, liked to play in space and play pick-and-roll and make plays for others. Here, I’ve got two guys similar to what we had in San Antonio; you’re able to throw them the ball on the block.”

It’s impossible to imagine Bryant not getting his, however, and if the baseline for Brown’s Lakers basketball is going to be the passion and work ethic, though, Brown and Bryant will get along just fine.

First, Brown is right. No doubt Kobe was the Lakers leader, but what has separated Los Angeles in recent seasons — what took them to three straight NBA finals, winning two — was they had a long and skilled front line only a couple other teams could match. What wins in the NBA is size with skill (think about recent champions, Dirk Nowitzki in Dallas, Kevin Garnett in Boston, Tim Duncan in San Antonio, the Lakers).

The Lakers size is their biggest advantage, and under Phil Jackson the Lakers were inconsistent in exploiting that. They got away with it because of Kobe. But when they went away from it was when they were vulnerable.

The real question is will the Lakers buy into what Brown installs? Will Kobe lead by example?

He has to if he wants to win, the Lakers don’t have a year to waste (we talked about this in our discussion of what the Lakers need to do when the lockout ends). This is a team with a handful more years with its championship window open, and there are young teams on the rise in this league. If the Lakers don’t buy in from day one, the season will be wasted. And they may not get another shot.

This is not just Kobe — he actually played better within the triangle than other Laker guards (Shannon Brown last season, Jordan Farmar in seasons before that). The point is the Lakers all have to be on the same page or it will not work. Phil Jackson could get them on that page.

We’ll see if Brown can.

  1. SmackSaw - Sep 16, 2011 at 6:07 PM

    Less wins

  2. cancionisimas - Sep 17, 2011 at 4:32 AM

    JesuCristo Navarro:

  3. 00maltliquor - Sep 17, 2011 at 4:45 AM

    I’m tired of people trying to put Kobe in a retirement home. He just turned 33 and last year played all 82 regular season games and averaged 25.3 PPG, 5.1 REB, 4.7 AST, 1.2 STL shot a shade over 45% from the field all while getting 34 min. a game and had a 21.4 effeciency rating while making the All NBA 1st team and All NBA Defensive 1st team! I mean, WTF! What more do you want? Why the haters gotta hate? Just mad because he’s been doing this for 15 years and they want to boost up all the youngsters? Sure he’s got more miles then a ’95 Honda Civic but he’s also got more drive then 100% of anybody in the league. No one said Jordan should start defering to Pippen or to Richard Hamilton (In Washington) so what gives when it comes to the Mamba?

  4. efueshe - Sep 17, 2011 at 3:25 PM

    Seriously! Kobe was extremely efficient for the minutes that he played and stayed quite consistently excellent despite his team’s numerous, debilitating malaises. On another note, Kobe has had no problem deferring to Bynum and Gasol, so the author insinuating that he may not buy into this idea is not only extremely tired but also patently false, which is quite ironic considering what he used to write about;) Didn’t anybody see Gasol’s first game as a Laker? Kobe had 6 (!) points and was as giddy as a 3rd grade girl getting her love note requited, BECAUSE THEY STILL WON (I wonder how much Vegas would put on that happening with the JV team the Lakers surrounded Kobe with in 2006, when he supposedly was at his most “selfish”). Kobe has always said his main goal every year is to win the championship, nothing less and nothing more, and that includes taking over a game and deferring to others. It’s hilarious that people recognize the pick and roll with being the bread and butter of the Lakers, and yet nobody except a few have realized that the defensive attention Kobe demands frees up the bigs so they can roll to the hoop. Although my venting of Pau is over, the truth is it is him and the other bigs who need to be consistently aggressive in order for their particular system of pick and roll to be the most effective in the league. All Kobe has to do is to continue to be Kobe, the most hardworking,skilled and determined player in the league. Mike Brown needs to keep the pick and rolls coming because when you have a big in Pau with ability to shoot, pass or drive and Kobe freakin’ Bryant as the defense’s other option to shoot, drive or pass, it’s literally impossible to guard it effectively. Even though I don’t believe he will, if Mike Brown tries to force feed the middle we’ll be in trouble, because like any other player, the Lakers bigs will not be as effective if the defense is set and converging on them instead of rotating between them, Kobe and the outside “shooters” we employ.

    • Kurt Helin - Sep 18, 2011 at 11:12 AM

      I live in LA, watch a lot of Lakers games live, am in the locker room. If you think Kobe has no problem deferring to others, well, not sure what team you are watching.

      • 00maltliquor - Sep 19, 2011 at 2:24 AM

        Point is Kurt, he shouldnt have to defer. And I’m allllll for dumping it down low for the bigs to get theirs. Hell, ‘Drew is dang near unstopable within 6 feet from the hoop, and Pau can do his thing on the block, shoot 15 footers with regularity, and pass if need be, but Kobe shouldn’t have to be treated like a second class option when he is clearly still dominating. Everyone keeps talking about the players with upside like “oooh, can’t wait to see what he’s like in 5-10 years”, but when that time comes people get bored of the dominice and can’t wait to check out the “new girl in class” and forget what’s still staring them in the face. Kobe Bean “Black Mamba” Bryant is still a problem for 100% of the L and until he starts putting up Vince Carter stats we need not worry nor need to “move on” from the greatness we’ve been so lucky to witness for a decade and a half. Chuuuuch

  5. 00maltliquor - Sep 19, 2011 at 2:51 AM

    Oh yeah, must I mention the fact that he’s been putting up these numbers with a broken digit, bum knee, whacked out ankle and most likely a various amount of other alliments we probably don’t know about ‘cuz he’s too proud/professional to tell about?! Wait and see him after this lockout when he’s had all this time to heal up and lick his wounds. Aaaaaahhhhhhh!

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