Either Mike Brown’s new system is more complicated than the triangle or the Lakers just don’t have the firepower. Somehow I think the latter is more the case but this team is still learning a new offense on the fly. Some of the Lakers’ early season shortcomings can be attributed to a rushed camp and hectic regular season.
However the amount of turnovers, bad shoot selection and inconsistent production are largely the reasons why this team has only cracked 100 once thus far.
Coach Brown insists that the team’s ugly offense isn’t in as bad a shape as it may seem. Perhaps just coach speak let’s hope Brown is sending a much different message behind closed doors.
As it stands the entire offense is Kobe Bryant. He’s pitted with the responsibility of scoring, setting the table for others and controlling the tempo of the game. Almost reminds you the situation Coach Brown dealt with in Cleveland. During those days Brown’s offense was pretty much get the rock to LeBron James and get out of the way.
Too bad for Brown that Bryant didn’t find the fountain of youth during the trip to Florida. While Kobe’s play has been impressive there is no possible way he can keep up this pace given the frantic schedule.
In order for the Lakers to improve their woeful offense the likes of Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum need to be much more assertive. Gasol especially. The Spaniard is content to coast along contributing as if he were the third option behind Bynum. Oh…that’s right…Pau is the third option now.
Bynum’s explosive start to the season has relegated Gasol to being an offensive afterthought.
All of a sudden Pau is camping out behind the three point line and is settling for open jumpers instead of working for points in the paint. Gasol’s offensive outage began in the playoffs last year and has only slightly improved this season.
The Lake Show needs either Bynum of Pau to start eclipsing the 20-point plateau on average. Problem is even if they both hit that number there is still a massive falloff after the Lakers’ big three.
Aside from Steve Blake, no other Laker has stepped up to the challenge of replacing the productivity lost in the Lamar Odom trade. Now that Blake is out with a rib injury no other player has even attempted to replace Blake’s production.
You know it’s a bad sign when Luke Walton is looking like a better option than Metta World Peace. But that is where this team stands, mired in a rut of offensive inactivity with no real help in sight. While the prospects of improving the offense with the current pieces in place remains a reality the real upgrade is somewhere out there on another NBA roster. Even then the Lakers are still going to have to give up some key components in order to add another. In that case they could be right back where they started.
Coach Brown is just going to have to make the most of what he’s got. Until Mitch Kupchak pulls the trigger on a blockbuster trade the Lakers we saw in Florida are the ones we should get accustomed to watching.