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With full training camp, Mike Brown going slower with Lakers

Oct 15, 2012, 2:06 PM EDT

Portland Trail Blazers v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

There were a lot of things Lakers fans criticized Mike Brown for last year. Some were deserved, some not. Such is the life of an NBA head coach.

But one legitimate complaint was he burned the Lakers candle at both ends — long practices and lots of them, not a lot of time off, and Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol played ridiculously heavy minutes.

Lakers players called Brown “all day every day.”

This season, even with new faces and a new offense to install, Brown is going slow. Or at least more slowly. From Ramona Shelburne at ESPNLA.com.

This season they all have time to breathe again. Training camp is a month long. The season isn’t condensed. And while Brown is still pushing the Lakers hard — he ran them through a three-hour practice before their exhibition game in Ontario on Wednesday — he seems to be reading and reacting to his mostly-veteran team better than he did a year ago.

“From what I hear, last year they didn’t have a day the first 19 or 20 days,” Lakers forward Antawn Jamison said. “This is already our second day off. He knows this is a team with a lot of guys who have a lot of mileage. There’s certain things he’s going to tweak what he would normally do. That’s what coaching is about — understanding your personnel.”

That three-hour practice on a game day? Brown heard about it from no less than Steve Nash who joked in his post-game comments, “That was a new one for me.”

Preseason is one thing, it’s during the season — the long, marathon grind of an NBA season — that Brown really has to back off. Nash needs to be below 30 minutes a game, even if your backup is Chris Duhon. Kobe played 38.5 minutes a game last season and that needs to drop by 5 at least. Bryant and Gasol are coming off hard-working Olympic summers, they might even get a night off here and there.

Our own Brett Pollakoff said this in our Lakers preview — Mike Brown should be the biggest concern for Lakers fans this year. This is a team that should be thinking title or bust (along with Miami and Oklahoma City). But has Brown learned that the key to getting the guys to play their best is not usually a three-hour shoot around? Will he grasp the nuances of coaching this team and getting the most out of each guy?

We will see. But know that if not his seat is going to get more than just warm.

  1. money2long - Oct 15, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    epic season on the way.

  2. lakerluver - Oct 15, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    Yep, @money2long. Banner number 17!!

  3. lakerluver - Oct 15, 2012 at 5:20 PM

    Can we get this season underway already!! Go LAKERS!!!

  4. dalauder - Oct 15, 2012 at 6:19 PM

    The minutes (causing Kobe and Gasol to go flat in Playoffs in the end) and the HORRIBLE late game offense had me thinking Mike Brown was STUPID at everything but defense last season.

    I hope that changes.

    • cpaulii - Oct 15, 2012 at 6:48 PM

      Kobe scored 20, 20,36, 38 and 42 against OKC, Kobe was not the problem, the rest did not step up..

      Bynum : 20, 20, 15, 18, 10.
      gasol: 10, 14, 12, 10, 14.
      MWP: 12, 8, 10, 14, 11.
      Sessions: 2, 2, 12, 10, 8.

    • mlblogsbig3bosox - Oct 15, 2012 at 6:53 PM

      Well… Actually the Lakers were better on offense than defense but I get your point. Minutes must go down for their starters and late game execution should improve itself with the new personnel and the new hybrid Princeton offense.

  5. manchestermiracle - Oct 15, 2012 at 8:19 PM

    Practices are hard to get players into game shape. It’s the excessive practices during the season, after players are in game shape, that Brown has to avoid. In addition, it would help his bench tremendously if they get a large amount of minutes in early games, thus preserving the starters over the course of the year.

  6. stayhigh_247 - Oct 16, 2012 at 12:04 AM

    Coach Jordan is already redecorating Mike Browns office. With #24 declaring his retirement after next season Mike Brown has 1 year to get it done. & if this thing blows up and they dont make the finals, I expect Dwight to take his time resigning until they find a better coach. I wouldn’t be surprised to here Danphonys name come up as a replacement.

  7. mstiger1 - Oct 16, 2012 at 12:26 AM

    Sorry guys, the chemistry is going to be tough with these prima donnas. Brown is definitely not the coach that can make it happen. Looks like another disappointing season to me.

  8. mstiger1 - Oct 16, 2012 at 12:40 AM

    This is NOT going to be the year. Brown is not the guy to get these primary donnas to play together with any kind of chemistry. Sorry, but Laker fans will be disappointed again. I wonder who Kobe will blame and call out this year???

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