Lakers Fire Mike Brown

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From all accounts, Mike Brown’s one helluva guy.  A really, really nice guy – liked by pretty much all and sundry.  However, being a ‘nice guy’ doesn’t win games.  Hard working too.  And whilst it’s a sure bet that the players liked Mike Brown and respected his work ethic, “liked” isn’t the same as being either respected as a coach nor being effective as one.
Clearly, the Lakers were ineffective.

Mike Brown’s always been considered a defensive coach (defensive in the sense of courtplay, not any personality deficiencies!), somewhat lacking in having anything resembling an offensive scheme.  Even when he was first hired, like many others I thought he was a bad fit for LA, especially when a guy like Rick Adelman was available.  Brown lacked the resume to be the coach of a franchise like LA, and the hiring surprised me.  Again, like many others.  This season, there seemed to be a semblance of a plan: Brown surrounded himself with seasoned veteran coaches, that would hopefully shore up his shortcomings.  Well… 5 games into the season and it’s been pretty obvious to everyone that something’s clearly wrong.

Kobe‘s playing well.  Dwight Howard, whilst fairly obviously not the same D-12 (not yet 100% fit) is too.  Pau‘s there.  Yet 1-4? 
Part of that goes on the way they played the pre-season. Brown started it with giving his projected starters very small minutes, focusing on giving lots of minutes to the end of the bench guys to sort out who would be given a contract. I think he gave them way too much. Typically, Phil would make up his mind quickly on those guys, and move on. You could almost see the panic start to set in with Brown during the last 2 games of the pre-season… so now we have what we have now: an LA team stacked to the rafters, playing terribly.
Obviously, the bench is not living up to even being mediocre.  Merely looking at the names there, it’s not a top ten bench – not even close – but it is a marked improvement over the bench that LA’s trotted out the past few seasons.  Yet to look at them play it’s really hard to stand by that.

The offensive scheme… The Princeton (is that what it even is??) I do worry that it takes the control out of Nash‘s hands a bit too much (when he’s been there).  You have one of the best points in recent times – how about utilizing him?  
I have a concern that maybe what might be the answer is painfully simple and obvious: run a sh*tload of Pn’R. You have one of the top pick n’ roll points in the league, and two phenomenal recipients in Howard/Gasol. Or even run it with Kobe… and Kobe makes one of the best kick-out guys in the league… the opportunities to create around an offense based on the simplicity and effectiveness of the pick n’ roll?  Endless and awesome.

Where LA moves from this point forward?  Well, I think we can all agree that Bernie Bickerstaff doesn’t keep the interim job – the names that we’re seeing on the rumor mill include a return from Phil Jackson (unlikely), Jerry Sloan (interesting… but a good fit?), a Van Gundy (a BAD fit – given who the starting center for LA is), Nate McMillan… but the name that seems to be on the tips of everyone’s tongues is Mike D’Antoni.  Now… whilst he is kind of the antithesis of Mike Brown being an offensive-minded coach with very suspect Ds, I do think he’s a better fit for this team than Brown is was.

Time’ll tell I guess.