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Mike Brown defends himself, Princeton-style offense

Nov 1, 2012, 10:56 AM EDT

Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

Mike Brown should be glad there is not an election next Tuesday on his status as Lakers coach.

To say Lakers fans are livid after an ugly 0-2 start would be to underestimate the level of frustration around the City of Angels. It’s not just that the Lakers lost — although that is never accepted well — but how they lost. It’s been ugly. They have been outworked for two straight games by teams with less talent.

Taking the brunt of the blame is Brown’s implementation of a Princeton-style offense — a system based on passing big men and cuts off the ball that had a lot of success after the college where it got its name because it allowed smart but less-athletic teams to compete with the big boys.

Except that while the Lakers have big boy athletes they’re not playing flowing basketball — they are thinking and not simply reacting. It led to a poor shooting first game and 25 turnovers against Portland on Wednesday. They have Steve Nash and Dwight Howard but have run few classic pick-and-roll sets.

Leading the new crusade against the offense were Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal on Inside the NBA on TNT after the Lakers first loss. Barkley said he wants his accountants from Princeton, not his offense. Mike Brown laughed off the criticism, reports Mark Medina at the Los Angeles Daily News.

“I’ve been criticized by those guys before. It’s okay,” Brown said with a laugh. “It comes with the territory. I think they’re funny guys. They’re very funny and a joy to watch on TV for a lot of people. I’m okay with that….

“The first thing is with our offense, every time down the floor — and if they want to, they can call Steve Nash and ask him — Steve Nash has the right to play pick and roll if he wants to,” Brown said. “He has said it himself that he doesn’t feel like he’s as burdened because he doesn’t have to make every play for everybody all the time with what we’re trying to do. He can give it up and still have a chance to get it back. He’s said that he feels as fresh as he’s ever felt in his career because he doesn’t feel the pressure of making every single play.”

Nash said that. He also said he deferred to much and tried to get the Princeton sets going rather than calling his own number and that he needed to be more aggressive. He said he was thinking too much.

Last season the Lakers ran more traditional NBA sets and thought teams defended those too easily. Kobe Bryant and others wanted a return to a read-and-react offense. But when you have an abundance of talent simple makes some sense. It’s old Vince Lombardi football theory — you can run the power sweep all the time, and if you have the talent and can execute it the other team will not be able to stop it even if they know it is coming.

But now the Lakers are committed to the more complex series where Nash is supposed to push the ball on the break and then if it’s not there choose between pick-and-roll or Princeton or other standard sets. I can’t imagine why that is taking a while to get down.

But the Lakers knew the offense might take a while to come on line, it was their defense that was going to keep them afloat until then. Of course, through two games the Lakers defense has been worse than the Bobcats’ last season (literally, they are giving up five more points per 100 possessions than the worst team in NBA history). Part of that is the turnovers leading to easy buckets. And part of that is Dwight Howard is not right and a dominant defensive force. And part of it is effort.

It’s a whole lot of things that have the Lakers 0-2. And while it’s too early to panic or vote Mike Brown out of his chair (he’s lucky the patient Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak have the only votes that count) the Lakers have a lot of things to fix.

  1. loungefly74 - Nov 1, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    only a fool would judge the season after 2 games…lets see what the teams are doing in April…

  2. lakerluver - Nov 1, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    ph53IQ, that’s usually how little kids become a fan of a team. Either they become a fan of the team in the city they grew up in, or they become a fan of the team their favorite player plays on. Or both. How did it work back in the 40’s when you were a young lad?

  3. lakerluver - Nov 1, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    “Getting ridiculed”? When? By whom? You’re the only person “attempting” to ridicule me. You don’t count. Why are you even on a LAKERS page anyway? I’ll tell you why. Because Boston is irrelevant.

  4. libertynchurch - Nov 1, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    Reputations of players and organazations dont count when the game starts. Every team in the League will/should make the Lakers RUN. Every team should want to try to exploit the age and health of key Lakers, with the idea of getting the Lakers to really depend on their weak Bench.

    Suppose this is not a coaching, familiarity issue. Maybe its a lack of team athleticism? I hope I am wrong, because I really want to see a Lakers-Heat Finals.

  5. paulhargis53 - Nov 1, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    Thank you for admitting that you jumped on the bandwagon when Magic came along! You said yourself you would’ve been a Celtic fan, had he gone there. You have no place calling out others for being bandwagon fans, squish mitten.

    You get ridiculed by more than just me, you’re in more arguments than anyone on this site.

    The Crocs don’t matter huh? They aren’t the team who had been 1-8 and bounced out in the 2nd round the last 2 year’s…..

    You mindless dunce.

    • bozosforall - Nov 1, 2012 at 9:14 PM

      The only dunce I see here is you, Pudhummer53.

  6. lakerluver - Nov 1, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    Who the heck are the “Crocs”? All I know is the last 3 teams to win a title are the LAKERS, Mavs and Heat. I don’t recall the “Crocs” winning anything. Are you sure they play in the NBA?!! What a freaking MENSA member you are!!!

    • badintent - Nov 2, 2012 at 1:56 AM

      Most Princeton students have a Mensa IQ of 140 or over to attend Princeton. That’s why the Princeton basketball team is able to do the “Princeton Offense”. Minus Gasol ( who went to med school in Spain) and Nash who graduated with a 3.5 GPA at University of Victoria, BC , the Laker team combine has an IQ of 69.
      Crocs are a nickname for the Heat’s victims, all those crocodiles( really alligators)
      chomp on the dead bodies of what ‘s left of LBJ ‘s power dunks.Everglades is a nasty place for rookies.

  7. paulhargis53 - Nov 1, 2012 at 5:15 PM

    You know you’ve lost the argument when you have to poke at the word predictor typos. Jesus Dude, You act like a title from going on 3 years ago is relevant.

    The lakers haven’t made a conference title game the last 2 years.

    The team is going to make it 3 in a row this year.
    Go away squish mitten, you are nit wanted here.

  8. rocirius - Nov 1, 2012 at 6:00 PM

    I don’t have a problem with a fan who makes the decision to root for another team. This is probably because I’m from Central Ohio and I’m one of those fans. That said, I’ve been a die-hard Celtics fan since I moved to Boston in 1986. Before that, I was a huge 76ers fan, largely because I had seen Dr. J and loved his style. Once I moved to Boston and began to see true team basketball by having the ability to watch all of their games, I became a huge fan of the Celtics. Nobody will ever be able to convince me that the 1986 Celtics is anything less than the best team ever, at least through last season. In a what-if or fantasy match-up, I think that team would win a seven game series against any team (although it would have been nice if they had beaten the Lakers instead of the Rockets in the Finals that year). Honestly, I wasn’t much into the NBA before 1980 anyway.

    Kudos to those fans who picked a team to root for because of their geographic region, the teams success when they began watching the sport or even because they liked the teams colors or played on a team with the same name. I don’t think anybody is less of a fan of a sport or a team just because of how they became a fan.

  9. lakerluver - Nov 1, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    Why do you keep talking about Conference Championships?!! Is that what Boston has been reduced to, celebrating getting to Conf. Championships?! I may not know everything but I do know that 2010 is more recent than 2008!!….Fellow LAKERS lovers just chill. In the Heat’s 1st year they started 9-8 and went to the Finals. The LAKERS team that had Payton and Malone started 18-3 and made it to the Finals. My point is 0-2 means absolutely nothing right now. Did we expect the LAKERS to go 82-0?! Barring any serious injuries, the LAKERS will represent the Western Conf in the Finals. Will they beat Miami? Not sure, but it will be a tremendous series. Yeah, ph53IQ, I’m already ruling out the “Crocs”. Get ready for decades of irrelevancy “again”. Sorta like it was for the “Crocs” from the mid 80’s until 2008.

  10. lakerluver - Nov 1, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    Great points!!

  11. rocirius - Nov 1, 2012 at 6:03 PM

    To me, staying loyal to one team forever is like staying loyal to the first girl you had a crush on forever, even if she never becomes your girlfriend and you have other opportunities.

  12. paulhargis53 - Nov 1, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    No dunce, my point is, the Lakers haven’t even made it that far since 2010!

    I’m willing to make bet with you squish mitten. I say the,Lakers don’t make the WCF this year. I win, you stop posting on this site. I lose, I will. No alternate names-just stop posting.

    To the other dude, you’re going to stoop to conspiracy theories now? How dumb are you? Something like that can never be pulled off in this media driven age.

    To the other dude talking about fandom.
    I agree with you. What I take issue with is Lakersucker calling someone a bandwagon fan, when he clearly jumped on when Magic came aboard- get it?

    One other thing Lakersucker, since your so fond of past titles and such 17-16.

    You’re talking about 2, going on 3 years ago- You may as well talk about 20, or 50.

    Do we have a bet? Or do you really have a squish mitten between your legs?

    • bozosforall - Nov 1, 2012 at 9:23 PM

      Regarding past titles, 27-7 sounds so much better.

    • mytthor - Nov 1, 2012 at 9:57 PM

      If you’re willing, I’ll take this bet with you.

  13. lakerluver - Nov 1, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    How did you become a “Crocs” fan? Back in the 40’s when you were a child you made a decision to root for them, correct? Either you were a Cousy fan or you grew up in or near Boston. Or perhaps you just liked their jerseys. My point is you chose them as your fave team. Why can’t you understand that’s how I chose the LAKERS?! I was a child and saw this wonderfully gifted player at MSU who I thought was the most unique player I’d ever seen. He ended up being drafted 1st overall by the LAKERS. The rest is history, Einstein. Never mind, I keep forgetting who I’m trying to educate, paulhargis53IQ!!….And what is a “squish mitten”? Is that more of your homophobic lingo? It’s funny…you have all the lingo and terminology down pat!! Hmmm?? I’m just sayin!!

  14. paulhargis53 - Nov 1, 2012 at 7:17 PM

    Way to ignore my offer. Come on big mouth, are you going to take the bet or not?

    I wouldnt expect you to know what a squish mitten is, its part of the female anatomy.

    Come on you blowhard, give me an answer, you won’t take the bet because deep down you know the Lakers aren’t going anywhere this year.

    Your choices are take the bet and know your time is short on here, or do.t take the bet and be branded for the coward you are. You can best believe I will constantly let everyone know if you choose the latter.

  15. paulhargis53 - Nov 1, 2012 at 9:26 PM

    look everyone, its bozo the peter puffer!

    You on a break from handing out oral treats to the men at your local bar?

    You sure know a lot about balls, too bad its not the basket type, huh?

  16. paulhargis53 - Nov 2, 2012 at 8:13 AM

    myt, no thanks. Although you are irritating, you are nowhere near the level of lakerluver. He isn’t going to take the bet, he ran away from this thread like his hair was on fire. When it comes right down to it, he’s a coward. I know your both laker fans, but how can you defend this guy, seriously?

    He’s every fanbases worst nightmare, biggest loudmouth when they win, biggest sore loser when they lose.
    Knows very little about the game.

    I’m just trying to prove a point to people about this guy, just watch him duck and dodge +he’s worried right now about the team- he will wait until they are on a run to take the bet.

  17. omniusprime - Nov 2, 2012 at 9:06 AM

    Hey Clown Brown, how many national NCAA championships has Princeton won using that Princeton Offense? Oh yeah NONE you moron! How many championships did Kobe win with the Triangle Offense? Five and Jordan won Six. If you want to install a championship offense in the NBA then bring back the Triangle you ignorant fool. Of course the Triangle is a thinking man’s offense and we all know Clown Brown will never be accused of thinking. Clown Brown had better get the team properly prepared to start winning or it’s time to fire the Clown and bring in a real coach. Go Lakers!!!

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