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Lakers coach Brown says Howard is going to bail him out on defense, basically

Aug 13, 2012, 12:12 AM EDT

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The Lakers were a pretty pedestrian defensive team last year, despite coach Mike Brown’s pedigree. They were 13th in the league in points surrendered per possession, giving up 101.7 points per 100 possessions (the league average was 101.8).

And they struggled against the pick-and-roll, particularly against the roll man who shot 49 percent against the Lakers on that play last year (according to MySynergySports.com). It is an area they need to improve if they want to get Kobe Bryant another ring.

Enter Dwight Howard.

The Lakers new center can score plenty, but what he does better than any Laker big on last year’s roster is defend — he is the three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year.

Mike Brown is going to look a lot smarter next year, and he knows it. Here is what he told ESPN about Howard.

“You’re talking about a guy who is seven feet, who has the feet that he has, it’s unbelievable. His foot quickness is something, to me, that stands out right away, more than anything else. It helps him run in transition offensive transition, and get easy baskets.

“But more importantly, in a pick-and-roll situation defensively he’s going to help guys like Steve Nash, and Kobe and Metta (World Peace) and whoever else we have on the perimeter defend the pick and roll game, because that is the way the league is going. Teams are playing smaller, quicker, faster, they are spreading the floor, they are playing the pick and roll game, and to have a guy like Dwight involved in that or on the weakside coming over to help is something special.”

It will be interesting to watch the USA evolve as a defensive team, it’s going to take time. With Dwight Howard’s back keeping him limited in preseason and possibly missing the start of the season, the chemistry it takes time to develop on the defensive end will be slow for the Lakers. It will be the same on both ends.

What it means is, much like the Heat of 2011, the team playing in April and beyond will very different than the team from November. At least the Lakers are counting on that. Like Brown is counting on Howard.

  1. rajbais - Aug 13, 2012 at 12:35 AM

    Time to forget about John Kuester and hire Eddie Jordan for the Princeton offense!!!

    He will be back in the league and have guys that could get his reputation
    And career turned around if Mike Brown gets fired (which should happen) and he takes over as the interim had coach!!!

    Eddie Jordan helped turn around the Washington wizards, but he got fired by Washington because Gilbert Arenas was not healthy; thus they lost a lot. In Philadelphia, Elton Brand was not healthy, Andre Iguodala had to unnaturally score 18-20 PPG, and his players did not fit his scheme.

    A coach is only as good as his circumstances!!!!! Mike Brown had no crappy general manager in Cleveland, but Paul Silas did!!! If the general manager like Jim Paxson is the one who adds players and he adds rhythm ruining players like Jiri Welsch for a 1st Rd pick when Paul Silas is around he will fail!!! Danny Ferry did not really do that to Mike Brown!!!!

    Get Eddie Jordan in town and he could be the 2010 version of Alvin Gentry.

  2. acdc84 - Aug 13, 2012 at 12:58 AM

    The only thing the Lakers are missing is a head coach. Im sure Brown is a fine xs and os guy but the Lakers need a Phil Jackson type; a guy that can manage the egos of a roster full of superstars.

    • money2long - Aug 13, 2012 at 9:03 PM

      u mean like erik spoelstra? he did a fine job winning this season with talent. some may argue it is because wade and lebron were friends. but i know from my own personal experience, and viewing others in basketball games in general, that friends bicker when they are passionate about a game. friends get mad, and for the record espn/tnt have captured moments in actual nba games where wade and bron were jawwing. but what about bosh? being the third wheel after leading a franchise? even into the playoffs and become a spectator on most plays and some crunch time moments. and see your averages fall has to be bad for the ego. but he had a good yr last yr becuz bosh can put that to the side. i think nash can and i think pau and kobe have what rondo and kg have. they may go back and forth with each other, but in the end they see the bigger picture and learn to coexist. kobe hugged pau, ate dinner with him in london, kobe has come out and said he wants pau there as long as he is there. dwight howard is the X. we dont know how things will mesh at this point, but i feel dwight will hav his moments but in the end, with nash as the ball handling leader he is in charge of how things will go to an extent. i feel dwight will be a perfect fit and i figure things running smoothly. people underestimate how well the chemistry between this new lakers team will shape out. i really feel deep down inside that dwight is the missing piece needed to mesh with the combo of nash and pau. i think if coach spo can do it, mike brown will be fine. (altho, spo did have a good ‘leader of men’ in pat riley to confide in.)

  3. pop562 - Aug 13, 2012 at 1:16 AM

    As a lakers fan it’s way to soon to crown them champions because 1. They haven’t all played together 2. Howard won’t be back till probably dec and 3. Spurs and OKC can still contend…it takes a lot for a team with new free agent stars to mess well with each other even if the stars are Nash and Howard with a strong learning curve. I was never fond of brown as a head coach because in the playoffs he wasn’t running the team well and wasn’t using the personnel effectively. It also showed during his reign as a cavs head coach, so it’s up to mike brown to write a winning script and implement it and instilled it to his players.

    • dls612 - Aug 13, 2012 at 8:09 AM

      Thank God! A Lakers fan who seems to know what they are talking a about

  4. dgbk - Aug 13, 2012 at 1:18 AM

    brown is a decent coach… ppl bash him and say he suck but i dont get it. erik spoelstra was a lame duck coach who couldnt manage egos but now where are those comments. if brown win a title within the nxt 2 yrs all of a sudden he will be a good coach.

  5. 24thesho - Aug 13, 2012 at 6:47 AM

    Specifically? focusing on getting quick baskets off fast breaks from good defense? I don’t see him throwing quick outlet passes or making that effort to run the floor with vigor consistently without bitching about his unhappiness about the current coach. Stay tuned. Won’t that diminish D. Howard’s “wants to be the man” status way of thinking, though? It seems like this did not work out so well for Orlando, in terms of how he sees himself.

  6. blueintown - Aug 13, 2012 at 8:01 AM

    What a duplicitous headline. When did “help” become “bail”? Absolute drivel.

  7. omniusprime - Aug 13, 2012 at 8:54 AM

    Clueless Clown Brown had better do something to improve the offense or it won’t matter how good Howard is on defense. Last season was hard to watch Brown’s pathetic excuse for an offense. We Laker fans can only hope that the Lakers hire an assistant coach with a clue about offense. Where’s Tex Winter at when we really need him?

  8. lakerluver - Aug 13, 2012 at 9:31 AM

    D12 is gonna make a huge difference to my LAKERS! No knock on Bynum but he just doesn’t have the mobility to protect the rim the way Howard can. Man, can we just begin the season already?!!!

    • dls612 - Aug 13, 2012 at 10:40 AM

      I see D12 getting into foul trouble! He’s not in the east anymore! U betta take another look at the bigs in the west that are just as mobile!

    • kinggw - Aug 13, 2012 at 12:21 PM

      Really? Bynum averaged 1.9 bpg last year, Howard averaged 2.1 bpg. Lakers fans and analysts are overstating what Howard will mean for the Lakers. Big name player, not a big upgrade for the Lakers.

      • Kurt Helin - Aug 14, 2012 at 9:56 AM

        Blocks are only one small part of defense. Howard’s pick-and-roll defense is vastly superior to Bynum and his rotations are quicker.

    • camnellum12 - Aug 14, 2012 at 3:12 AM

      Haha at this point, Andrew will be more mobile than Howard. You think Dwight will be skying for everything like he did 2010 and before? So Howard really can’t be as effective as most other Laker fans are dreaming, he won’t get touches (because he has no skills) and he won’t be the athlete he was for most of the upcoming season.

      And Dwight is 6’9/6’10, not a 7 footer

  9. lakerluver - Aug 13, 2012 at 9:50 AM

    @dgbk, I agree with you 100%!! People just automatically assume Brown can’t coach because he hasn’t won a title YET. I have complete faith in the LAKERS front office. They have proven beyond a doubt that they know exactly what’s best for the franchise. That being said, I don’t think Brown would be coaching this team if they didn’t think he could coach. I guess I shouldn’t be shocked by some of the stupid things fans say. After all, some of them still won’t give Phil J. credit for being a great coach. IMO, he’s the best coach in any sport ever.

  10. unxpexted1 - Aug 13, 2012 at 10:08 AM

    I still think Andrew Bynum is the better player, but D12 is the better fit for this team. The lakers backcourt is ridiculously slow, and Kobe has a hard time getting around screens these days. SO D12 will def bail the lakers out defensively better than what Bynum could do. Bynum is a good one on one post defender, but their are no big men like that in the league to really deal with so he’s not as effective as he woulda been in the 90s.

  11. aboogy123456 - Aug 13, 2012 at 10:56 AM

    Dwight will definitely help against the Heat when they play lebron at the 4 and decide to go small. His foot speed is key, I think he will be able to guard lebron pretty well and at least slow him down a bit. This will be huge because the heat can’t force the lakers to go small, so when the lakers have the ball they will have a huge size advantage with dwight and pau going against bosh and lebron. If anything, this could force the heat to go big, which isn’t their strength.

    • dls612 - Aug 13, 2012 at 11:50 AM

      hey aboogy123456, my beloved Heat got u worried huh!

  12. paulhargis53 - Aug 13, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    lakersucker:
    The only stupid comments on here are when you and your 2 minions are posting something.
    I’m embarrassed for you. You’re total lack of knowledge is mind boggling. Yet here you are, day after day, hour after hour, spreading you’re ignorance for the world wide web to see. Luckily for you, there is anonymity on here.

    People on this site see your screen name and know they are in for a chuckle. If nothing elseyou are on here to make others feel good,about themselves. We can all thank God we aren’t you.

    As I’ve said before. Get a life dude. You need to get laid worse than anyone on the planet. Help, the rest of us will chip in on the cost.

  13. cornbreadbbqred - Aug 13, 2012 at 10:49 PM

    First of all, I would like to say the ESPN is bush league, and revokes comment privileges when a reader disagrees stridently with their oft hackneyed analysis (notwithstanding their limited vocabulary- Little wonder as getting hired by the network’s owner DISNEY never required adult level vocabulary anyway! ) My point? I would like to think at least here I can be frank.

    Does anyone recall Mike Brown’s gushing over Andrew Bynum being “A beast” in the early going in the Denver Nuggets series, to get abysmally out coached by George Karl for several games before the Lakers managed to prevail in an unnecessarily exhausting series. Also, Bynum was outplayed, clueless and soft the rest of the postseasnon. Coaches decisions and adjustment was at fault, and the ability assert meaningful perspective to his principles in the heat of battle in real time, much like in Cleveland. Welcome Eddie Jordan!

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