Long before Mike Brown coached his first game for the Los Angeles Lakers he already had a reputation of being offensively inept. One year into his career as an L.A. based hoops shot caller and Brown did nothing to disprove his offensive shortcomings.
The 2011-12 version of Lake Show looked as much like Showtime as Clint Howard looks like he’s related to Ron. Sure, there are minor similarities but overall one is just hideous (apologies to Clint Howard and Coach Brown’s offense).
Clearly the Lakers needed to do something to revamp the offense. There’s just no way of getting through the Western Conference if you can score buckets in crucial moments. That doomed the Lakers against Oklahoma City.
By adding Steve Nash the Lakers have greatly improved at point guard. Kobe Bryant won’t be asked to initiate, execute and run the offense while Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum will be able to actually get the ball in better spots on the floor.
But the addition of Nash isn’t nearly enough. The Lakers need a system in place that will maximize their best strengths on offense. That’s where Princeton Offense comes into play.
Word is spreading that the Lakers will be getting an Ivy League education in offense next year as the team transitions to the motion-heavy Princeton Offense.
Now having the system in place is one thing. Having someone onboard who can coach it up is quite another. Coach Brown is obviously never going to be a great offensive mind so that’s why there is talk of Eddie Jordan joining the Lakers coaching staff.
Jordan has made a career in learning and coaching the Princeton Offense. During his time in Sacramento he studied under the Tex Winter of the Princeton Offense – Pete Carril. After moving on to New Jersey, Jordan helped to coach-up Jason Kidd and the Nets to the NBA Finals twice. Later Jordan would become the head coach of the Washington Wizards were he would bring Carril onboard as part of his staff.
In short it would be in the Lakers’ best interest to get a mind like Jordan in the mix. Kobe has already expressed his excitement over the move to a new offensive system.
“It’s a great offense. It’s exactly what we need. It takes us back to being able to play by making reads and reacting to defenses. There’s so many threats, so many options, it’s very tough to defend. Against the type of defenses that teams play nowadays, they load up on one side and are constantly coming with help from the weak side. The Princeton offense makes it very, very tough to lock in on one particular player. From my experience, those types of principles – ball movement, changing sides on the floor, everybody being involved – those are championship principles. That’s championship DNA.”
Let’s not fool ourselves. It’s going to take more than Nash and a new offense to get another banner hung in Staples. But these are areas that badly needed to be addressed and will certainly help to improve L.A.’s championship prospects. All that remains now is to get another perimeter scorer who can hopefully stretch the floor, improve the depth of the team and add a capable backup behind Nash. Other that all that…things are looking pretty much in order.