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Mike Brown says expect to see Metta World Peace at shooting guard

Nov 7, 2012, 3:30 PM EDT

Oklahoma City Thunder v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Four Getty Images

Mike Brown has been a man under fire to start the season. His team has underperformed to the tune of a 1-3 start which has led to speculation that his job is in jeopardy.

One of the key complaints levied against Brown has been his lack of consistency with his rotations and how he’s managed personnel groupings once his starters go to the bench. Apparently, Brown is trying to rectify that according the Eric Pincus of the LA Times:

Metta World Peace will get minutes at shooting guard, Lakers Coach Mike Brown said.

“That’s going to be my second unit,” said Brown.  “Metta will be the two, [Antawn] Jamison is the three, [Jordan] Hill is the four and [Dwight] Howard or Pau [Gasol] is going to be the five.”

Playing World Peace at shooting guard with the second unit comes with its advantages. Even though he’s lost a half-step (or more) on defense, he’s still the Lakers’ best wing stopper. While the sample size is small, the Lakers’ post a defensive efficiency of 97.0 when World Peace is on the floor, the best number on the team according the

Offensively, there are also ways this can be successful. While World Peace is struggling with his long distance shot (6-19 from thee point range), he’s made 66% of his two point field goals so far this year and is still a threat in the post and cutting to the rim. Plus, in recent seasons, he’s performed relatively well when he’s not shared the court with Kobe and can be more of an offensive focal point.

All that said, there are also some issues that could easily crop up by moving in this direction.

First off, the Lakers have a serious issue with how many minutes their key players are racking up early in the season. Kobe, Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard, and World Peace all average over 34 minutes a game, with Pau and Kobe again near the top of the league in minutes played. For a team whose health and relative freshness come playoff time will be a key factor to their success, playing bench players less doesn’t seem to be the best solution.

Second, the Lakers signed Jodie Meeks in the off-season specifically to play as Kobe’s back up. His shooting can be a key ingredient in helping to provide much needed offensive spacing and his defense grades out as better than he’s given credit for. Not to mention how moving away from Meeks this early in the season without giving him much of an opportunity to succeed can potentially hurt his confidence and how he feels about his role.

These are big picture issues that can’t be ignored in the pursuit of more short term success. The best coaches are able to walk that line between managing for the present and long haul better than others and there are still questions about whether Brown is up to that balancing act.

Where Brown deserves credit is in realizing he needs to settle on a rotation, following through and making a decision. A fact he points out when saying:

“I’ve got to give my bench a chance, because right now I really haven’t.  I’ve been messing around with it too much trying to search for combinations. Now that I’ve found a combination that I think I want to roll with it a little bit, let’s give them a chance to see how they play before making another change.”

That said, even if he’s being decisive it still seems short sighted and a path with several potential pitfalls. I guess this is why those reports about his job being in jeopardy exist in the first place.

  1. eventhorizon04 - Nov 7, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    …So, after 3 games, in which he gave Meeks an average of just 7.3 minutes per game, he’s already resorting to playing Metta World Peace out of position at 2-guard as part of the bench unit?

    Shouldn’t he give Meeks at least a few games to prove himself before sending him to the end of the bench?

    He’s a 4th year player who went from the 76’ers to a team full of Hall of Famers. It might be nice to not destroy his self-confidence less than 4 games into the season when you know that at his best, he gives solid defense and floor spacing as a 40% 3-point shooter.

    • nbascreed - Nov 7, 2012 at 5:38 PM

      Mike Brown is the worst. And Buss Jr, with his ego and need to put his stamp on the organization, is willing to waste another year with this guy. Peace couldn’t play 2 during his heyday. I always thought of him as the non-pejorative definition of a tweener.

      In business use the saying “fail fast”, Buss Jr should take note.

      • mogogo1 - Nov 7, 2012 at 8:05 PM

        That was exactly my first thought: He wants Artest to play shooting guard NOW? Insane. He was never a 2 and he darn sure isn’t one now that he’s years past his prime.

  2. lakerluver - Nov 7, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    Wasn’t Meeks brought in to back up Kobe? Not going to question MB, he knows more about bball than I ever will. Plus, he’s there everyday and knows what’s going on. Tough game tonight but I expect a LAKERS victory in Utah!

  3. limonadamas - Nov 7, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    yeah, that’s gonna work, Dungeon Master… smh =T

  4. paulhargis53 - Nov 7, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    More blindly biased homerism from the master!

    Panic buttons being pushed after game 4.
    This is laughable.

    Lakerslurper, they can’t play the Pistons every night.

    Keep playing the starters 38 a game, makes sense. Now their “great offseason addition” is not even getting his 7 minutes? This is too funny.

    Panic time.

    • cosanostra71 - Nov 7, 2012 at 6:13 PM

      Have you ever considered being a fan of your team instead of rooting against the Lakers? The world has enough negativity as is.

      • ocgunslinger - Nov 7, 2012 at 8:10 PM

        Add “Stupidity” to his resume. I have never seen more thumbs up than thumbs down after his comments. Usually a 1-4 ratio positive to negative.

      • limonadamas - Nov 7, 2012 at 8:14 PM

        I’m being sarcastic, in case anyone is offended.

  5. lakerluver - Nov 7, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    Worry about Boston, sir. The LAKERS will be just fine. Your days on this site are numbered!! Well, at least as ph53, that is.

  6. lakerluver - Nov 7, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    We don’t panic in LAKERLAND. Probably has something to do with all those banners hanging from the rafters of the Staples.

  7. aboogy123456 - Nov 7, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    This is another example of the difference between a great coach like Phil Jackson and someone like Mike Brown, and it’s getting very frustrating.

    Phil Jackson would use the season to grow his team. He would put his bench and role players in high pressure game situations and play them a lot of minutes. This would help them in the playoffs so they wouldn’t disappear like what we saw with the lakers bench last season.

    Mike Brown doesn’t show he has the big picture in mind. It should be easy to keep kobe’s minutes down, but he acts like it’s impossible. I personally would like to see a lot more of devin ebanks and jodi meeks during the regular season. Eventhorizon said it very well, it’s about building confidence. And having those young guys build their confidence and skills would really help the lakers in the long run.

    • teehov843 - Nov 7, 2012 at 4:52 PM

      I totally agree!

  8. michaeljordanseviltwin - Nov 7, 2012 at 5:13 PM

    Is Mike Brown playing a private game of How Fast Can I Get Fired With 4 Hall of Famers Making Me Look Good? I mean this is comical.

    “I want my accountant from Princeton not my offense.” -Charles Barkley

  9. paulhargis53 - Nov 7, 2012 at 5:27 PM

    Why wave the banners in people’s faces?
    Boston has 17. Celtics fans don’t do that. You know why? Because it has absolute zero to do with THIS year.

    I’m not suprised I have to explain this to you. But Brown hasn’t given this team time to gel. Now he’s already messing with the rotation? I thought the bench was going to be soooo much better?

    I’m not worried about the Celtics, they are going to be just fine. Doc is a great coach.

    I’m not going to have to go anywhere squishmitten, Brown is going to play the starters so much, they’ll either be all injured or so worn out that they will lose early.

    Not me, I won’t be on under a new name. You have 3 already, so what’s 1 more, huh lakerluver/bozosforall/maddog911?

    • Foul Dwimmerlaik - Nov 7, 2012 at 9:18 PM

      Maybe Laker fans tend to wave the banners issue because of its RELEVANCE in recent years.

      Prior to 2008 the Celtics had their last banner when I was just beginning to grow pimples.

      That lone banner of the Celtics is squeezed between 5 Laker banners with both ends involving back-to-backs.

      I wasn’t even born when the Celtics had their last back-to-back.

    • Foul Dwimmerlaik - Nov 7, 2012 at 9:25 PM

      I beg to disagree on the notion that the recent successes of the franchise has nothing to do with what’s going to happen this year.

      If such is the case, why do teams rebuild or reload? Is it just for the short term?

      If there’s anything that the Lakers franchise has shown through the years is CONSISTENCY of coming up with teams bound for the playoffs with a great number of them being title contenders and more significantly, ending up as champions.

      Can’t say the same for most of the teams in the NBA.

      • bougin89 - Nov 8, 2012 at 11:19 AM

        In fairness Foul, The Celtics have looked a lot better in the playoffs the last two years than the Lakers. So if your going to throw out the “I beg to disagree on the notion that the recent successes of the franchise has nothing to do with what’s going to happen this year” argument that would tend to favor the Celtics. Obviously the Lakers added a lot more talent in the offseason this year and we will see how they mesh when it really matters.

      • Foul Dwimmerlaik - Nov 8, 2012 at 4:15 PM

        @bougin89: Your point of argument merely validates the point I raised (the one that you quoted) regardless which team we’re talking about.

        Be that as it may, I’m looking at the overall relevance between the two teams in the past 12 years. I’d take that two back-to-back championships anytime over that “more favorable performance” in the playoffs by the Celtics in the past two years. Won’t you?

        Mind, I’m not dissing nor hating the Celtics. Just saying what it is. If the situations were reversed (Celtics getting those 5 banners and the Lakers getting 2008 and the last two more favorable playoffs performance) I’d be saying the same argument. Unlike some of my co-Laker fans, I got a lot of respect for the Celtics franchise.

        The Heat and the Knicks are on the rise. I like that too. It’s the Heat now vs the Celtics. I remember way back that it was the Knicks vs the Heat. A very HEATed rivalry. Spurs are still there. OKC giving the Lakers a run for their money. That’s good. There is more pride in overcoming and beating great teams once you get the championship (and I’m not just speaking for the Lakers here).

  10. lakerluver - Nov 7, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    Good point, cosa71. But let em have their say. Nothing better than when you can rub it in the face of loud mouth-know-it-alls.

  11. jerdogthompson - Nov 7, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    I know it’s early but Utah looks poised to wipe the floor with Metta et al regardless. 2-3 early, early turnovers. Looks to be a very long night Laker fans. Stay tuned.

    How’s Nash? Still sticking to that week long diagnosis? Best of luck, I really mean that too.

  12. jerdogthompson - Nov 7, 2012 at 11:42 PM

    Hate to say I told…..

    I won’t. Enjoy. Enjoy.

    • Foul Dwimmerlaik - Nov 8, 2012 at 12:25 AM

      I’ll take those losses like a true man takes the punches as they come with the territory.

      In the meantime, I will take your advice and enjoy the rest of the season. I still like the Lakers’ chances to have that parade in June.

  13. BigBeachBall - Nov 8, 2012 at 12:21 AM

    When kobe and nash are on the bench…. Artest actually makes sense in a mike brown kind of way…

  14. paulhargis53 - Nov 8, 2012 at 9:25 AM

    Cosa: I do post regularly on the Celtics stories. I root against the Lakers because of people like you and lakerluver, last I checked, its still a free country.
    ocgun: How cute. You pay attention to the thumbs. Do you come here for validation? That’s kind of sad.Don’t you think I know what my abrasive persona is going to do with the thumbs?
    Foul: There’s about 4 guys left on the Lakers from the last title. You think Kobe and Pau are thinking wow we were kings in 2010? No, they are thinking about 2012-13. Past titles, no matter how recent,are not relevant to this season.
    If they do matter 17>16.
    lakerslurper: You sad little boy. Stop stealing my phrases and get your own material. By the way, you are the epitome of loud mouth know it alls.

    • Foul Dwimmerlaik - Nov 8, 2012 at 9:04 PM

      Paul, though it seems we are talking about the same thing, I honestly I think we are not.

      I’m talking about the Lakers NOT as a TEAM but as a FRANCHISE. That’s where the Laker fans’ swagger is coming from.

      Agreed, successes of teams of previous years are no guarantee that the present one will do the same. I also agree that just because one won the championship two, three years ago one is assured that the present one will do the same. That is definitely idiotic.

      However, bar any MAJOR DOWNGRADE (see Cavs after LeBron left, see Magic after Shaq left, see Bulls after Jordan left) the chances that the present team of getting its set goals are pretty much good.

      In the case of the Lakers (compared to most teams) these have been translated not only to consistent playoffs appearances but more importantly getting the O’Brien trophy. The Lakers struggled big time when Shaq left though they bounced back and got their back-to-backs later on.

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